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Transatlantic relations

25.11.2020 - Article

Alongside European integration, the transatlantic partnership is the most important pillar of German foreign policy. The United States and Canada are among Germany’s closest allies outside Europe.

Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco
Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco© dpa / picture-alliance

Relations with the United States and Canada are based on common values and a shared history. The foundations are formed by the traditionally close cultural, societal, political and economic links, but also common interests, for example the promotion of peace, stability and security, democracy, the rule of law and human rights. Together with its transatlantic partners, Germany successfully advocates for these issues worldwide. Germany is further linked with the United States and Canada through their active work in international bodies, particularly on security issues.

Crucial for global order and security

Transatlantic cooperation is and will remain a key factor for global order and stability, not least in difficult times. Against this background, the transatlantic relationship needs to prove itself anew in the face of current challenges. All the more so when the United States has withdrawn from major international agreements such as the nuclear agreement with Iran or the Paris climate agreement. There are also differences of opinion between the two sides of the Atlantic at the moment as regards the imposition of unilateral tariffs or sanctions with a secondary impact on third states. The prime starting-points for intensifying cooperation are regional security-policy issues, as well as the fight against terrorism and the modernisation of the World Trade Organization. For these are questions of immediate importance for people on both sides of the Atlantic.

Diverse societal ties

How close transatlantic relations are is clear also from the multitude of societal and cultural contacts between Germany and the United States and Germany and Canada. There is a long tradition reaching back to the 1950s of exchange programmes for pupils and students, researchers, artists and athletes. These programmes are among the best‑used of all the exchanges. In addition, New York State in particular is a focal point for the promotion of Jewish culture and for cooperation with Jewish organisations.

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