The United States and Canada are Germany’s closest allies outside Europe. Large areas of common interests, shared challenges and values form a bond between the two sides of the Atlantic. The post of Coordinator of Cooperation with the USA and Canada was thus created in the Federal Foreign Office in 1981. As of 30 April 2014, Member of the German Bundestag Jürgen Hardt has occupied this post.
Transatlantic relations are both close and diverse. Nevertheless, in light of the growing economic and political clout of China and other emerging powers, it is vital to continually highlight the shared basis of our relations.
Close transatlantic coordination is particularly important given the recent raft of crises. Jürgen Hardt seeks out contact with the US congress in a targeted manner in order to advocate German positions and to secure and develop scope for cooperation on various different fields.
As a member of the German delegation in the NATO Parliamentary Assembly, Jürgen Hardt has been in close contact with fellow American and Canadian parliamentarians since 2009. The close collaboration between transatlantic allies in the field of security policy is a key concern for him.
The civil society contact between the USA and Germany forms the basis of mutual trust and understanding, and thus also for the close transatlantic partnership. But these contacts must be maintained and developed in a targeted manner, which is a particular challenge in times of an increasingly multipolar world. Jürgen Hardt works in a targeted manner to promote civil society dialogue and to maintain a variety of exchange programmes:
The years 2014/2015, with the 25th anniversary of the Fall of the Berlin Wall and reunification, should prompt us to remember the thanks that we still owe the American people today.
Even before taking up his position as transatlantic coordinator, as a Member of the German Bundestag, Jürgen Hardt concentrated on European economic policy as part of European policy.
Against this backdrop, Jürgen Hardt views the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) – currently being negotiated – as the key transatlantic project of the future which will boost competitiveness and the quality of jobs in Europe in the decades to come. For alongside the clear economic advantages on both sides of the Atlantic, the TTIP contributes to the strategic aim of setting standards for free and fair trade in the 21st century. Jürgen Hardt advocates actively helping to shape these standards, in a forward-looking manner, within the negotiation process.
The Coordinator of Transatlantic Cooperation can be reached at the Federal Foreign Office as follows: