US-German Next Generation Project

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New Voices for a Stronger US-German Relationship


Twenty-five years after the fall of the Berlin Wall (and as the twenty-fifth anniversary of German reunification approaches), the US-German relationship faces new challenges. While official cooperation and interaction between Berlin and Washington continue to be robust on a wide range of issues, the German and American publics have grown less familiar with each other – in part because of the drawdown of US military forces in Germany since the end of the Cold War. Diminishing personal ties between the two peoples threaten to do lasting damage to bilateral relations and the transatlantic relationship. Younger Germans in particular are raising questions. A strong US-German relationship is indispensable if either country is to succeed in addressing the difficult regional and global challenges facing world security and prosperity and to make the most of our shared opportunities.

Our Approach:

The Brent Scowcroft Center on International Security at the Atlantic Council selected a “next generation” group of twelve Americans and Germans between the ages of twenty-five and thirty-five resident in the Washington, DC area to prepare a ten to twelve-page report by June 2015 spelling out a strategy to strengthen the US-German relationship. The Next Generation Fellows are experts in key issues for the bilateral relationship, such as economic/business cooperation, defense/security cooperation, media issues and intelligence cooperation, migration and cooperation in developing countries, and US-German cultural and educational exchange.

The Scowcroft Center organized five roundtables with DC-based experts and one roundtable with Berlin-based experts to assist the Fellows in preparing the report, and additional Americans and Germans worldwide in the age group contributed ideas, feedback, and perspectives through an online discussion forum, the “Next Generation Network.” The report, “Through a New Prism: A Next Generation Strategy for the US-German Relationship,” was released simultaneously in Washington and Berlin on June 9th 2015. It provides eighteen recommendations for ways to strengthen the US-German relationship. The Council published a German version of the report on June 30.

Our Partners:

In carrying out this project, we are pleased to have the support of a number of partner organizations. These include Deutsche Atlantische Gesellschaft (German Atlantic Association), the Bertelsmann Foundation, the American Council on Germany, Konrad Adenauer Stiftung, American Institute for Contemporary German Studies, the Representative of German Industry and Trade, and the German Information Center.

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Please contact Next Generation Fellow Anna Schiller at for more information.