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Of a Close, Complicated Relationship

US-ambassador John B. Emerson gave a talk about transatlantic relations
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04.12.2014


Americans say about Google Street View: Oh, how nice, that's our house. Lots of Germans and their government insist on having the pictures blurred or made unrecognizable. John B. Emerson, ambassador of the United States, used this example to illustrate how different American and German mentalities are. They are, however, not so different in their goals and values, emphasized the ambassador during his visit to the Friedrich Schiller University (FSU) in Jena on December 3rd. The president of the university Prof. Dr. Walter Rosenthal welcomed the ambassador, his wife and the Leipzig consul general Scott R. Riedmann at the university campus. It was there that ambassador Emerson held a lecture for over 500 students titled "Shaping the 21st century - the transatlantic relationship" and answered their questions afterwards.


Historical Connection

Emerson referred to the historical connection between the US and Germany and commemorated the peaceful revolution of 25 years ago. "Since the end of the Second World War and especially since the fall of the Wall, the US and Germany have been united in the view that not only does our security and prosperity depend on each other, but also the unity, the freedom and the peace of Europe," he said. The core of this transatlantic partnership between the US and Germany is based on the manifold personal relations in culture, art, industry and science.

For this reason, he visited the FSU as the university in fact is such a core element. Jena university has close relations with the United States: There are collaborations with 18 US-American colleges and universities. Recently, historians of the Jena Center 20th century History have also agreed on a further cooperation - with Princeton University in New Jersey. In addition, the university nurtures close relationships with Berkeley in California - which is also the twin city of Jena.


Jena as a Motor for Innovation

The ambassador emphasized the significance of the spirit for business and innovation. Especially the USA und EU constitute the motor of world-wide technological and scientific progress.  Jena is an innovation motor as "one of the top regions in Germany for innovation", as Emerson stressed. But: "Innovation happens not simply by implementing the right economic policy, but by creating the appropriate climate, in which innovation and creative ideas can develop and thrive," said Emerson.  This maxim of a lively founding culture was particularly well received at Jena University - which offers a founder service to support students and scientists on their road to independence. It also offers active research into themes such as founder, innovation and creative management as well as into research and technology transfer.

Naturally, Emerson pleaded for the free trade treaty TTIP. According to him, there, just like in the whole area of economic relations, partnership cooperation, transparency and reliable legal rules were necessary, product standards should be harmonized, and international law should be made simpler - but without loss of quality. The legal experts of Jena university - with its own Law & Language Center - dedicate intense teaching and research efforts exactly to these themes. In general, at the FSU America plays a large role, as shown by the "League" of host institutes: political scientists, historians and the department of American Studies had encouraged the American ambassador to come to Jena. For years, these institutes have been regularly inviting speakers to the university with the support of the Leipzig consulate general.


Germany's most beautiful students

The fact that Emerson was also received by the lord mayor of Jena, who informed him that the most beautiful students in all of Germany can be found at the FSU, amused the students as well as the ambassador - and remained an uncontroversial statement. Unlike some others that were constructively discussed between the students and the highest representative of the US in Germany.

John B. Emerson has been US ambassador since August 2013. The 60-year-old business lawyer originates from the New York area and now calls Los Angeles home. He served on President Barack Obama´s Committee on Trade Policy and Negotiations and the Los Angeles Mayor´s Trade Advisory Council, just to name two examples. This was the first time he was a guest in Jena.

 

Meldung vom: 2014-12-04 10:00

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