In our interview John C. Kornblum, US ambassador to Germany from 1997-2001 and member of the Advisory Board of Atlantic Initiative, emphasizes the importance of high-level, executive political leadership in coordinating the transatlantic relationship. Common challenges must be addressed from the top: the financial crisis, relations with Russia, nuclear proliferation, the Middle East conflict, energy security, and climate change are international hurdles that will not be surmounted by expert councils and special committees. Rather, the next American administration and the government of Germany, as a leader of Europe and a strong US ally, must confront these issues jointly at the highest levels of executive authority.
Mr. Kornblum also points out the role being played by the Transatlantic Economic Council, which was established by George W. Bush, Angela Merkel and Jose Manuel Barroso in 2007. This council facilitates coordinated international action at the executive level and as such could provide a model for further EU-US cooperation. Mr. Kornblum does not deny the importance of institutions, especially the EU, but rather stresses the importance of effectively utilizing these institutions in order to solve current critical challenges.
Watch the exclusive interview with John C. Kornblum at the presentation of AICGS's "Memorandum to the New U.S. President":
John C. Kornblum served as US Ambassador to Germany from 1997 until 2001 and currently serves on the supervisory board of ThyssenKrupp Technologies AG and Bayer AG.
David Neil Lebhar holds a Bachelor's degree in Political Science from Davidson College and is currently an editor at atlantic-community.org.