Wilton Park British German Forum 2005 - Britain and Germany and the USA: Friends Reunited?
In light of the Iraq war, divergent climate change policies, trade negotiations and the fight against international terrorism, the transatlantic relationship between the European Union, its respective member states, and the USA have been put to the test in recent years. On 11-15 July 2005, the "Britain and Germany and the USA: Friends Reunited?" question was discussed at the 20th Wilton Park British German Forum (BGF). Dr. Camilla Bausch, Senior Fellow at Ecologic and member of the Ecologic Legal Team, was nominated by the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) to take part in this year’s BGF.
The approximately 50 German, British and American participants from diverse fields discussed a broad spectrum of questions on transatlantic foreign, security and environmental policies. The discussions took place over four days, and were in accordance with the Chatham House Rule. Presenters included leading personalities from politics, business, research and media, for example Liz Padmore (Partner, Accenture), Michael Stürmer (Chief Correspondent, Die Welt), Friedemann Müller (Chairman, Global Issues, German Institute for International and Security Affairs) and various members of the British House of Commons and FCO.
Over the course of the discussions, there was broad consensus with regard e.g. to the global threats from climate change and international terrorism, as well as concerning the rising political, military and economic importance of China. At the same time, however, divergent assessments of risk led to the identification of different problems and solutions.
Though complete consensus on approaches could not be reached, it was nevertheless agreed that personal relations and mutual confidence are of large importance for successful political action in an international context.
It is in this sense that the Wilton Park British German Forum understands itself as an opportunity to promote exchange and connections between future decision makers.