Trans-Atlantic Relations Project

Trans-Atlantic Trade at the Crossroads: Prospects for TTIP in 2016 and Beyond

After three years of negotiations, TTIP is at a critical juncture. If the agreement is not concluded this year, the results of upcoming elections on both sides of the Atlantic will unquestionably disrupt its course.

Europe's Reluctant Leader

In this issue of Newpolitik, Isabell Hoffmann explores the role that Germany is beginning to play as the European Union’s reluctant leader. With a British exit looming, Chancellor Angela Merkel will face an immense challenge as she attempts to hold the bloc together.

The End of Panda Politics

The latest edition of the Bertelsmann Foundation’s Newpolitik series explores the challenges ahead for Germany as its relationship evolves with the People’s Republic of China. Germany enjoys a special relationship with China for now, but author Bernhard Bartsch explains how increased political and economic competition have begun to strain Berlin’s relationship with Beijing.

B|Brief: To Counter Extremism, Europe Must Move Beyond Security and Focus on Neighborhoods

Following a spate of deadly attacks in Western Europe, governments have adopted a largely military-oriented response to secure the homeland and counter violent extremism. Amid renewed calls for yet more security measures, and with Germany considering the deployment of soldiers to its streets for the first time since World War II, governments at the national and city level must not discount the efficacy of...

B|Brief: Negotiators Advance TTIP Agenda but Several Key Issues Remain

The latest round of negotiations of the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) concluded earlier this month with an air of uncertainty, as U.S. and EU negotiators committed to continue the process of resolving differences and consolidating texts without concrete plans for when or where the next round will take place.

Negotiators tabled a record number of text proposals this round and made progress on important technical details related to market access, regulatory issues and trade rules. However, the parties remain deadlocked on several critical elements of the agreement, including market access for services, government procurement and investment protection.

B|Brief: Protecting Europe’s Family Ties in Trying Times

In 1946, it was British Conservative Winston Churchill who famously called for the creation of a European family and the establishment of a United States of Europe. So perhaps it is fitting that another Tory may preside over the family’s dissolution.

The upcoming British EU referendum is a step in the wrong direction for the European Union, but it certainly isn’t the first. What began as a dream of an ever-closer union has devolved into a collection of states in which national interest trumps unity.

Preserving an Old Model in a New World: German Economic Policy

In the second issue of the Newpolitik series, the Bertelsmann Foundation explores Germany’s social market economy, which combines economic dynamism with social justice. Although Germany has been hailed by some as an “economic superstar” in recent years due to its low unemployment rate and export surplus, this stability may be in jeopardy.

B|Brief: Austrian Elections: When the Peoples' Parties Lose the People

When Austrians went to the polls in last month’s presidential election, the political establishment received a jarring wakeup call. Amid mounting frustration with the establishment, voters sent two so-called “outsiders” into a competitive runoff, taking place this weekend. Norbert Hofer, a member of the right-wing Freedom Party of Austria (FPÖ) famously totes a Glock 26, and has said that refugees are a major threat to Austrian security. His opponent, Green Party veteran Alexander Van der Bellen is running as an independent in this race. He advocates for a strong and cohesive European Union and protecting refugees on humanitarian grounds. Although the role of president is largely ceremonial in Austria, the face-off between two extremes reveals a deepening polarization of the country.

B|Brief: Latest TTIP Round Yields Progress, Gridlock

Negotiators from the United States and the European Union convened in New York City last month for the 13th round of talks on the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, on the heels of the highly anticipated visit of U.S. President Barack Obama to the Hannover Messe in Germany.

Intense negotiations continued on nearly all chapters of the agreement. Incremental progress was made, but significant points of disagreement remain in areas such as market access, regulatory cooperation and the overall structure of the agreement.

Germany's Response to the Refugee Situation: Remarkable Leadership or Fait Accompli?

In the first issue of the Newpolitik series, the Bertelsmann Foundation addresses the German government’s response to the refugee situation. Did German Chancellor Angela Merkel have a choice when she kept the borders open? Now that Germany has allowed more than 1 million asylum seekers through its borders, how can it effectively and efficiently respond to the challenges that follow?

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