Fellows of the second Atlantic Expedition joined forces in August 2017 to develop new strategies for communicating transatlantic relations to a diverse audience and consequently making the transatlantic relationship a more inclusive endeavor.
From 9 – 14 October, participants joined a trip to Chicago and Houston during which they had the opportunity to discuss their ideas and proposals with a variety of stakeholders from politics, business, academia, media and civil society. The diverse selection of meeting partners allowed for a variety of feedback and input, examining the transatlantic debate and especially the modernization of transatlantic relations from various viewpoints and providing valuable feedback for the contributions published in this Atlantic Memo.
The memo entitled “Atlantic Expedition II: Towards a More Inclusive Transatlantic Partnership” encompasses recommendations developed by participants of the second Atlantic Expedition before, during and after the joined excursion to the United States. You may find the complete memo via the above link and read through the executive summary below.
ATLANTIC EXPEDITION II: TOWARDS A MORE INCLUSIVE TRANSATLANTIC PARTNERSHIP
The Atlantic Memo “Atlantic Expedition II: Towards a More Inclusive Transatlantic Partnership” was written by the thirty fellows who participated in the second Atlantic Expedition from August to November 2017. It encompasses strategies, recommendations and specific project proposals on how to communicate transatlantic relations to a diverse audience and, consequently, make the transatlantic relationship a more inclusive endeavor.
The overall finding of this next generation of transatlantic leaders is a Call to Action:
The transatlantic relationship is upheld by an extremely homogenous group of actors, which is unrepresentative of large parts of the population in both Germany and the US – hence a new transatlantic narrative and new communication channels should be developed and implemented in order to create an open and inclusive debate that will serve all parts of the population on either side of the Atlantic. This, in turn, will generate sustainable support and awareness of the importance of transatlantic cooperation.
This Executive Summary provides a snapshot of each contribution featured in this memo:
- Storytelling – a New Transatlantic Narrative
- Diversity and Inclusion
- Stakeholder Mapping
- New Actors and Allies
- City-to-City Cooperation
- International Tandems
- Tools and Methods for Communicating Transatlantic Relations
- Social Media Campaign and
- the New Transatlantic Declaration.
The memo Storytelling – a New Transatlantic Narrative shows that transatlantic relations rely on a post-World War II narrative written by and serving only a limited number of elites, thereby excluding major parts of the population on both sides of the Atlantic from the debate. The authors hence argue that a new transatlantic narrative based on the four elements of Depth, Diversity, Durability and Discourse Deliverables needs to be formulated in order to overcome the division within the transatlantic realm and ensure that the transatlantic alliance not only remains an important pillar of US and European foreign policy, but also grows more fruitful and vibrant in the coming years.
Diversity and Inclusion are two commonly cited concepts in debates about transatlantic social, political and economic relations. Still, only a limited group of diplomats, academics, politicians and businesspeople determines the transatlantic discourse. The memo on Diversity and Inclusion asserts that the call for modernizing transatlantic relations can only be answered by including those groups formerly excluded from the transatlantic debate: communities in rural areas, the working class, communities of color, and migrant communities. More so than simply analyzing these groups’ compositions, their struggles, and their transatlantic ties, this memo highlights the clear benefits that arise from including these communities in the transatlantic debate.
The exercise of Stakeholder Mapping aimed to identify and examine the network of established relationships that were developed over the past 70 years of German-US relations. This memo provides a high-level overview of the organizations and individuals that have been operating in traditional roles to promote and maintain transatlantic relations while briefly analyzing the current state of the relationship and offering a collection of active stakeholders in German-US relations in their Stakeholder Guidebook.
The authors of New Actors and Allies outline some of the most important new actors that should become involved in a modern transatlantic cooperation. Classic stakeholders have influenced transatlantic relations for decades. However, as these relationships suffer, bottom-up and grassroots approaches are becoming increasingly important to bypass inefficiencies and give everyone a voice. New stakeholders that connect directly with communities could enhance the dialogue across the Atlantic and stimulate engagement and belief in Trans-Atlanticism for the future.
The New Actors and Allies authors identified, among others, local government actors such as mayors or city council members who should play an increasing role in building up a new transatlantic narrative. While city-to-city partnerships have always played a role in the transatlantic relationship, their potential is underutilized. The City-to-City Cooperation Project draws attention to the potential of these partnerships, provides a practical Step-by-Step Guide for interested governments, inspires six new city pairs through individualized letters, and serves as a facilitator and resource for emerging partnerships.
The International Tandems group recommends the introduction of a new learning format to high school students in the United States and Germany. It aims to connect students across the Atlantic and facilitate intercultural exchange by converting standard, individualized school assignments into a paired assignment on which the student can collaborate with an overseas student. The proposal outlines why this is necessary, explains implementation steps, and elaborates on future developmental avenues within the sphere of transatlantic education at the high school level.
The diversification and expansion of communications technology has catalyzed interaction between US citizens and German citizens. Tools & Methods for Communicating Transatlantic Relations explores tools that can encourage and maintain positive interactions via technological innovations and traditional in-person communication. It outlines approaches that could provide meaningful support to existing programs and develop new spheres of public outreach.
With an established strategy, social media proves to be an effective communication tool for sharing ideas and reaching new audiences. By analyzing the Social Media presence of the Atlantic Expedition, the social media team generated a number of best practices and lessons learned that can also be utilized by fellow organizations with the goal of enhancing their social media presence and visibility.
The New Transatlantic Declaration (NTD) outlines the objectives and values common to the United States and the European Union. It is inspired by the spirit of collaboration and diversity of thought fostered by the Atlantic Expedition. The NTD provides an outline of the cultural, political, economic, and security gains associated with the transatlantic relationship. It is open to all signatories who desire to build stronger transatlantic ties, whether they are nation states, corporations, or individuals. The NTD is a reference document for business leaders, politicians, NGOs, advocacy organizations, and other stakeholders as they advocate on behalf of the relationship.