There is no country with which we Europeans have closer and deeper connections than with the United States. Whether local politicians, academics, entrepreneurs, soldiers or exchange students, the German-US bond spanning the Atlantic brings together millions. I want to make this network, which takes in the whole spectrum of US society, even tighter.
Even today, Texas is a bellwether for the America of the future. As the second most populous State in the country, the Lone Star State is a real economic powerhouse. Texas is striding forth towards wind and solar power – yet still has one foot in the fossil fuel economy of the past with its intensive use of oil and gas. Also within society, the centrifugal forces are palpable. For me, the focus is on better understanding what matters to the people who, just like us in Europe, face very similar challenges: inflation, concern about being left behind in global competition or the struggle for good education opportunities and for everyone to find their place in society.
I want us as friends and partners up and down our countries also to be able to rely on one another tomorrow and the day after, to pool our strengths and together make a difference: from the development and regulation of critical technologies and the minimising of risky economic dependencies without building trade barriers to dealing with the global climate crisis.
Above all, the last one and a half years have shown us the enormously important role our transatlantic partnership plays. While Europe stared at the abyss that is the Russian war of aggression at the heart of our continent, there was one thing we could always rely on: that the United States and Europe stand shoulder to shoulder with the people in Ukraine. America stands shoulder to shoulder with its Allies. During my talks in Washington, we will also consider how we, the transatlantic family, can continue to show persistence and unity as we stand up to Putin’s war of madness. In these turbulent times we also need to invest together with our many partners around the world in an international order that respects the rights of all countries– whether large or small – and where everyone can have their say.
I want to make our shared bridge across the Atlantic even stronger and ensure it remains fit for the future.