Above the rooftops of Berlin, the members of Global Bridges came together at the invitation of its long-time member, Dr. Kurt Schwarz, to discuss the prospects of China. The evening also provided the opportunity to reflect upon Global Bridges’ XIII Study Trip to China this October.
The annual goose dinner took place this year on November 15 in the Berlin International Club. Global Bridges had the honor of receiving Baroness Pauline Neville Jones DCMG, member of the British House of Lords, for a second time as the guest speaker for the evening. Her speech addressed the question, “Where is Brexit Britain going?” which was followed by an interactive question round.
Berlin and Potsdam, Germany
November 5-11, 2017
On Sunday, November 5, a delegation of North Dakota State Senators and Representatives landed at Berlin Tegel Airport, marking the start of Global Bridge’s second annual North Dakota Study Trip to Germany.
The week commenced with a day of meetings and discussions. To begin, Mr. Hans Ulrich-Klose, former member of the German Bundestag (SPD), discussed general foreign affairs, as well as examined the current political situation in the US and its impact on Germany. Professor Barbara John, Chairman of the Welfare Organization Parität Berlin, followed with an analysis on the immigration and integration of refugees in Germany and in Europe on a wider scale. Before our tour of the Bundestag, Mr. Steffen Bilger MdB (CDU) helped summarize the basic functions and breakdown of the German Bundestag. He also touched on the idea of a “Jamaika Coalition” for the new German government.
Beijing, Shangri-La, Shanghai, Hangzhou, Wuzhen, and Hong Kong
October 15 to 28, 2017
This year’s trip to China was overshadowed by the 19th Party Congress of the Chinese Communist Party which took place during our stay. When we were in Beijing, the number of police officers and the amount of neighborhood watches reached an unprecedented number: the nervousness surrounding this big event was tangible. Due to the overlap, we could not visit the CPC Party School, nor could we not go to Tibet as planned.
As always, the trip included political, business and cultural meetings and events. Read more
Kolomna, Moscow and St. Petersburg
September 23 to 30, 2017
“Russia is a riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma,” said Winston Churchill. In order to solve this puzzle at a time when more is talked about others than with others, a delegation from Global Bridges traveled for the first time to Moscow and St. Petersburg.
August 20 to 25, 2017
„The Challenges Facing Today’s Young Leaders“
40 Young Leaders from Germany and the People’s Republic of China came together in the Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg to discuss both the challenges as well as the opportunities of today’s global development. The Military Academy of the German Armed Forces in Hamburg-Blankenese generously hosted the conference. The campus offered a great setting for the working groups and their discussions on topics such as sustainable economic policy, Industry 4.0 and “China’s Belt and Road Initiative.”
July 6 to 9, 2017
“Bridges or Chasms between East and West? – A Polish Case Study”
At the point where Poland meets the Baltic Sea, our Young Leaders and Global Bridges members dedicated three days of stimulating debate, study visits, and sightseeing to the (re-)discovery of Gdansk. Fueled by the enthralling speeches given by the guest speakers, the discussions focused on Poland’s role in international relations, especially to the United States, Russia, Germany, and the rest of Europe. Our delegation’s numerous trips to local historic sites, such as the fortress “Ordensburg Marienburg” (Malbork), the Solidarność Center, as well as the boat ride to “Westerplatte,” the site where World War II began on September 1, 1939, contributed to more lively conversations. These shared experiences in Gdansk blended together with the diverse backgrounds of the trip’s attendants led our Young Leaders to a powerful, common conclusion: it is now more important than ever to build bridges with Poland.
To read the full report, please click here:
Germany’s Role and Interests amidst a United States in Turmoil and a Europe in Search of its Future
June 20-21, 2017
At the Second Walther Leisler Kiep Symposium Globalization and Protectionism, the Atlantic Community, and Germany’s Role in Europe were the topics in focus.
The results of the panel discussions may be summarized as follows:
New uncertainties are arising in a rapidly changing international arena due to growing opposition to global free trade, digitalization and its ramifications for the working world, and disputes over the consequences of energy supply and climate change.
Through Globalization, people are growing closer, but this also means that they are becoming more acutely aware of their differences. We should refrain from imposing our notions of democracy and human rights on the rest of the world and instead approach developmental assistance in a more pragmatic manner. Globalization has divergent consequences for the income and wealth distribution for western-oriented democracies.
Despite substantial unpredictability from the Trump administration, we must keep our transatlantic alliance strong and maintain mutual understanding, especially towards those who support President Trump. America’s opposition to North Stream is directed not only against Russia, but Germany as well. This should be clearly addressed.
Europe will have to step up their efforts to control deviating tendencies. The EU must do more to be taken seriously as a security provider. There was a call to observe the Maastricht Treaty: EU-minister of finance, fiscal union, economic government, perhaps even EU-led armed forces as well as a monitoring regime on the external borders and a balanced immigration and refugee policy. With Brexit, Germany’s interests are aimed at keeping the United Kingdom as close as possible to the EU, albeit without weakening the fundamental principles of the domestic market. In questions of security, continued cooperation is indispensable.
To read the full report by Dr. Rudolf Georg Adam, please click here:
May 28 to June 1, 2017
42 Young Leaders from 18 nations traveled to central Asia to get to know a country in economic emergence that proved its will and capacity for economic modernization with the direction of the global exhibition Expo 2017.
Tel Aviv, Jerusalem, Bethlehem, and Ramallah
April 22 to 29, 2017
A Study Trip in Times of Fundamental Change
Global Bridges learned more about the conditions in which bilateral relations between Israel and Germany truly are, and how the Israeli-Palestinian conflict continues to develop. Surprisingly, both sides place a lot of hope in a new actor on the global stage, Donald Trump, whose political style is a cause for concern in Europe. The unpredictable United States president may yet accomplish what his rather predictable predecessor failed to achieve.