Only a few days before the election in the United States, Minister of State for Europe Michael Roth visited Chicago. He met with politicians and representatives of civil society and gave speeches at both the University of Illinois and the German American Chamber of Commerce. Minister of State Roth got a particularly in‑depth look at the electoral campaign by participating in the Media Junkies Lunch, a regular gathering that brings together numerous multipliers for a frank exchange of views.
The transatlantic partnership is a key asset
Despite the crises that Europe has been facing, the EU has recently accomplished a great deal, the Minister of State pointed out in his speech at the University of Illinois, singling out common efforts in the areas of security and migration policy. However, in light of global crises and flows of migrants, a smoothly-functioning transatlantic partnership is a key prerequisite for success.
Just prior to the election, the Minister of State also had an opportunity to gain deeper insight into domestic politics. He visited Representative Mike Quigley, a Democrat who for many years has been fighting for minority rights in his home country.
Experiences from a troubled and deprived neighbourhood
The Minister of State was deeply impressed by his visit to the South Side, a Chicago neighbourhood that is primarily African American and in which President Obama was previously himself politically active. Through his church community, Father Michael Pfleger has for many decades been fighting to end the vicious circle of violence and poverty. He has been guided in these efforts by the life and work of Martin Luther King, whom he met as a young man and with whose family he maintains close ties to this day. “As a boy, I experienced the indescribable hate that was directed at the supporters of the the African American civil rights movement. This did not fit with how I felt as a Christian,” Pastor Pfleger said.