Statement by the Coordinator of Transatlantic Cooperation Michael Link prior to his departure for the United States
The midterm elections on November 8 will play a key role in determining which political party will control Congress. The effect of these elections may well be felt beyond the United States. I want to get a first-hand impression of the electoral campaigns and the political climate in the country. States like Georgia and Texas are especially well suited for this.
In my talks with representatives of the executive and legislative branches in these two states, I particularly want to provide background on Germany’s recent watershed moment, deepen our close bilateral exchange, and identify ways that we can intensify these relations.
This applies especially to expanding intersocietal exchange. We want to bring more people together – starting with vocational trainees and students and extending all the way to researchers and exchanges between sister cities. For there to be a new transatlantic generation 32 years after German unification, we need a new narrative.
On Sunday evening (October 2), Coordinator of Transatlantic Cooperation Michael Link will first fly to Atlanta, Georgia, where he will hold political talks with, among others, representatives of Georgia’s state legislature and its executive branch. His agenda includes a meeting with representatives of the German community and with alumni at the Halle Foundation, as well as a visit to the recently reopened Franco-German Cultural Center in Atlanta. During his stay, Mr. Link will also learn about the exchange program for trainees of the Joachim Herz Foundation and about a vocational education and training program of the German-American Chamber of Commerce of the Southern United States. During a stop at the Georgia Institute of Technology, he will give a speech on the current state of transatlantic relations, followed by a meeting with exchange students and guest researchers. On October 4, he will give the official speech at the event to mark the Day of German Unity in Atlanta.
After traveling on to Austin, Texas, the Coordinator of Transatlantic Cooperation will hold political talks on October 5 and 6 with representatives of Texas’ state legislature and its executive branch (in particular with the Secretary of State). On his way to Houston on Thursday, he will stop at the George H.W. Bush Library in College Station before traveling on to an evening event in Houston, at which he will deliver the main address marking the Day of German Unity. His agenda also includes talks with representatives of the Houston-Leipzig Sister City Association and with DAAD fellows. Before returning to Germany, Mr. Link will present German language certificates to students at the German Saturday School in Houston on October 8.