The 2020 U.S. Presidential Election and the events leading up to November 3 continue to shape public discussion and debate on both sides of the Atlantic. Given that the world currently finds itself in a pandemic of unknown dimensions, the pending health crisis further pushes this consequential election to the center of public attention.
This is why several transatlantic institutions and German political foundations have joined forces in order to host the virtual event series Road to Election Night & Beyond. This series is meant to facilitate in-depth discussion amongst leading researchers, policymakers, think-tanks, and civil society in the run up to this year’s U.S. election.
This joint effort by institutions representing the leading transatlantic community aims to foster debate on a healthy and strong Euro-American partnership and to raise awareness for issues that will shape public perception in Germany, Europe, and the U.S. in the months to come. In unprecedented and uncertain times like these, we are committed to sending a strong signal for transatlantic solidarity.
Kicking-off on September 1, we will host virtual discussions every 2 to 4 weeks, each focusing on a specific topic, ranging from transatlantic trade to electoral demographics, social media on the campaign trail to geostrategic implications of the election. Join us for a lively exchange amongst the vibrant transatlantic community and let us, together, pave the way for a Transatlantic Conference on January 20, 2021, the very day of the inauguration of the U.S. President.
Please see below for upcoming events and please note that further dates and events will be announced on a rolling basis. Videos of the discussions will be made available on this page after the individual sessions.
Migration, Flight, and U.S. Immigration Policy under President Biden
Thursday, December 3
7:00 – 8:00 p.m. (CET)
At the beginning of 2021, US President-elect Joe Biden will inherit an immigration system that has been dramatically transformed by the Trump administration over the past four years. These transformations include a new series of restrictive asylum policies, the construction of a border wall to Mexico, sweeping green-card limitations, broader deportation priorities, a decimated refugee program, and pandemic-era border restrictions. The Biden-Harris team will have much to contend with in forging pragmatic policies that both protect the US border and honor legal migration to the United States. In this panel discussion, practitioners and experts from the field will discuss what post-Trump immigration policy might look like, and what challenges—political, bureaucratic, and cultural—the Biden administration is likely to face in the coming years.
T. Alexander Aleinikoff, University Professor and Director of the Zolberg Institute on Migration and Mobility at The New School (NYC)
Roberto Suro, Professor of Journalism and Public Policy at the University of Southern California
Moderated by: Daniel Benjamin, President of the American Academy in Berlin
Session 6 (see video below)
Beyond Election Day: Transatlantic Media De-Brief
Friday, November 13, 2020
3:00 – 4:30 p.m. (CET)
Ten days after Election Day, an international press club will come together in Berlin to discuss the aftermath of the 2020 U.S. Presidential Election. Tune in as five leading journalists representing the United States, Germany, Italy, Poland and France comment on possible repercussions on the Euro-American partnership and voice their expectations towards a Biden-Harris administration.
Melissa Eddy, Berlin Correspondent for The New York Times
Tina Hassel, Head and TV Editor-in-Chief of ARD-Hauptstadtstudio in Berlin
Tonia Mastrobuoni, Berlin Correspondent for La Repubblica
Wojciech Szymański, Berlin Correspondent for the Polish Section of Deutsche Welle
Moderated by: Terry Martin, Senior Anchor for Deutsche Welle News
Session 4 (see video below)
The Future of the Multilateral Order
Friday, October 16, 2020
2:30 pm – 3:40 pm (CET)
Robert B. Zoellick, Former President of the World Bank, U.S. Trade Representative & U.S. Deputy Secretary of State
Werner Hoyer, President of the European Investment Bank
Moderated by: Dr. Stormy-Annika Mildner, Head of External Policy at the Federation of German Industries (BDI)
Over the past 75 years, globalization and global governance have been strongholds of universal peace and prosperity. More recently, multilateral institutions struggle to enable shared, fair and effective solutions for crisis phenomena such as climate change and the COVID-19 pandemic. Our moderated discussion will provide an outlook on the future of multilateralism. How can the structures of international cooperation be defended and redesigned? Which existing institutions may remodel the rules of multilateral engagement? And what role do new stakeholders such as the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank play?
Session 3 (see video below)
Beyond the Campaign Trail: The Future of the American Presidency
Friday, October 9, 2020
3:00 pm – 4:00 pm CET
Peter Baker, Chief White House Correspondent for The New York Times and Co-Author of „The Man Who Ran Washington: The Life and Times of James A. Baker III“
David Frum, Staff Writer for The Atlantic and Author of „Trumpocalypse: Restoring American Democracy“
Moderated by: Vendeline von Bredow, European Business and Finance Correspondent for The Economist
Roughly four weeks ahead of Election Day, the world is again focused on the U.S. electoral map. No day passes without pollsters offering their latest take on the most recent numbers and data. But, looking beyond the election on November 3, invites a larger question: No matter whether the next President is named Biden or Trump, what will the future of the American presidency look like? And what role will Democrats and Republicans play in shaping the presidency for the years to come?
Session 2 (see video below)
Knowing Each Other? Mutual Perceptions Across the Atlantic
Wednesday, September 23, 2020
5:00 pm – 6:00 pm CET
Dr. Emily Haber, Ambassador of the Federal Republic of Germany to the United States
John Emerson, Former Ambassador of the United States to Germany, Chairman of the American Council on Germany
Moderated by: Dr. David Deißner, Executive Director of the Atlantik-Brücke e.V.
Following up on the Year of German-American friendship, this session will take a closer look at the state of transatlantic relations in this election year. More specifically, the two distinguished speakers will discuss how Americans currently perceive their German partners across the Atlantic – and vice versa. What larger trends can we deduce from the current state of transatlantic relations? Are we, in fact, still “wunderbar together”?
Session 7 (see video below)
Safeguarding Transatlantic Security: A “New Deal” in Euro-American Relations?
Wednesday, November 18
5:30 – 6:30 p.m. (CET)
Long cherished as cornerstone of the post-war international order, the transatlantic security architecture has come under intense scrutiny and pressure. NATO is confronted with a variety of complex security challenges, all of which require close transatlantic cooperation. While President Trump regularly points out European omissions with regard to military spending and capability gaps, his distinctive style eroded the trust of U.S. allies in America as a reliable partner. Moving forward, the world is eager to hear from the new President-elect – what can we expect from the incoming Biden administration in terms of foreign policy? How can the U.S. and its allies safeguard transatlantic security cooperation? And what should Europeans be prepared to bring to the table?
Heather A. Conley, Senior Vice President for Europe, Eurasia, and the Arctic & Director of the Europe Program at the Center for Strategic & International Studies (CSIS)
Thomas Silberhorn, Parliamentary State Secretary at the German Federal Ministry of Defence and Member of Bundestag (CSU)
Moderated by: Andrea Rotter, Head of Division Foreign and Security Policy at the Hanns Seidel Foundation
Session 5 (see video below)
Election Day in America: A Pre-Analysis from Berlin
Tuesday, November 3, 2020
6:30 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. (CET)
Rarely has a U.S. presidential election sparked as much attention, mystification, perplexity, and concern as the 2020 race to the White House – both in the U.S. and abroad. No matter who will emerge as the winner on Election Night (or in the weeks to come), the aftershocks will be felt in Germany, Europe, and around the world.
On the eve of the U.S. presidential election, leading representatives of the transatlantic community will come together in Berlin, in order to help you make sense of the events unfolding across the Atlantic. Join us for this timely virtual discussion and listen in as heads of the most important transatlantic institutions and political foundations voice their hopes, expectations, and concerns regarding the immediate election and the future of the Euro-American bond – before the polls close.
John B. Emerson
Chairman, American Council on Germany; Ambassador of the United States to Germany (2013-17)
President, American Academy in Berlin;
Ambassador-at-Large and Coordinator for Counterterrorism, U.S. Department of State (2009-12)
President, American Chamber of Commerce in Germany e.V.; President, UPS Germany, Austria and Switzerland
Dr. Benjamin Becker
Managing Director, AmerikaHaus NRW e.V.
Eckart von Klaeden
Chairman, Aspen Institute Germany;
Vice President & Head of External Affairs, Daimler AG
Prof. Dr. Michael Hüther
Vice Chairman, Atlantik-Brücke e.V.;
Director and Member of the Presidium, German Economic Institute
Dr. Meike Zwingenberger
Executive Director, Bavarian Center for Transatlantic Relations
President, German Atlantic Association;
Member of Bundestag (CDU/CSU), German Minister of Food & Agriculture (2014-18)
Member of the Global Atlanticist Network, Friedrich Ebert Foundation; Member of Bundestag (SPD)
Alexander Graf Lambsdorff
Member of the Board of Trustees, Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom; Member of Bundestag (FDP); Member of the European Parliament (2004-17)
Vice President and Director of the Berlin Office, German Marshall Fund of the United States; Head of Policy Planning and Speechwriting, Office of the German Federal President (2014-17)
Chairman, Hanns Seidel Foundation; Member of the European Parliament (CSU)
Dr. Ellen Ueberschär
Moderated by: Annette Riedel
Senior Editor, Deutschlandfunk Kultur
Session 1 (see video below)
Transatlantic Town Hall: A Bipartisan Congressional Perspective on the Future of the Transatlantic Bond
Tuesday, September 1, 2020
5:30 pm – 6:30 pm CET
Congressman Ami Bera (D-CA), Chairman of the Asia, Pacific, and Nonproliferation Subcommittee of the House Foreign Affairs Committee; Vice Chair of the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology, United States House of Representatives
Congressman Jim Sensenbrenner (R-WI), Member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee; Ranking Member of the Subcommittee on Antitrust, Commercial and Administrative Law of the House Judiciary Committee, United States House of Representatives
Moderated by: Rüdiger Lentz, Executive Director of the Aspen Institute Germany
Kicking-off the event series, the two Congressmen will provide a bipartisan congressional assessment of the current state of transatlantic affairs. This session will offer a platform for exchange on topics of mutual concern on both sides of the Atlantic and the future of the transatlantic bond. Recent developments focusing on this year’s presidential election and possible repercussions on the Euro-American partnership may further be addressed.