Germany, Europe, and America - A Difficult Relationship in Times of Corona
On June 23, on the occasion of the general meeting of the Association of Friends and the traditional Aspen Summer Festival, a virtual discussion took place on the topic "Germany, Europe, and America - A Difficult Relationship in Times of Corona." Aspen Germany's Executive Director Rüdiger Lentz discussed the opportunities and challenges of a future-oriented agenda for transatlantic relations with the president of the German Marshall Fund of the United States, Dr. Karen Donfried.
Dr. Donfried stated: "The initial unilateralism during the coronavirus crisis led to tensions. At the beginning of the crisis, everyone thought of themselves first: export blockades of medical goods, entry bans, and border closures. But in recent months we have seen that the crisis could also be an opportunity for transatlantic relations. Wolfgang Ischinger and I asserted this in our joint opinion piece in Foreign Affairs. We are co-chairs of a Transatlantic Task Force and many ideas in our article come from discussions in its framework. To give an example, the United States and Europe should extend their definitions of national and international security to include the protection of public health. This should also strengthen NATO's capabilities; in view of the common medical needs created by COVID-19, the alliance could provide additional assistance by building lasting, common stocks. This would not only strengthen the transatlantic security alliance but also underline NATO's relevance in the 21st century."