A strong transatlantic alliance is indispensable for mastering the major challenges of our time. Under the US administration of Joe Biden and against the backdrop of the Russian war in Ukraine, Germany and the United States have moved closer together again. Germany’s partnership with Canada is also becoming increasingly important in view of the various global crises. Given their shared history and values, Germany, the USA and Canada are natural partners for tackling the key challenges of today and tomorrow together.
The “Laboratories of Democracy Initiative” brings together 30 state legislators from Germany, the US and Canada each year to promote values-based dialog and exchange of ideas on common political challenges at the subnational level. Louis Brandeis, former US Supreme Court Justice, once described the US states as a “laboratory of democracy” where new and innovative political approaches could be explored. The project takes up this idea and focuses on the role of state legislators in developing political solutions and promoting transatlantic relations.
Each exchange is dedicated to a different core topic with social relevance on both sides of the Atlantic. The last years dealt with the topics of structural change, climate and energy as well as digitalization. In 2024, the focus will be on the topic of critical infrastructure with various focal points. The group of participants will use the impressions gained during the program, their own experiences and joint discussions to develop non-partisan recommendations for action at the subnational level and for transatlantic cooperation, which will be published at the end of the program year. The project will create sustainable transatlantic networks, strengthen transatlantic relations at the subnational level and break down prejudices and stereotypes. At the same time, the exchange of experiences within the core group and with external experts and decision-makers will lead to the development of innovative solutions for shared transatlantic challenges.
The project is supported by the Transatlantic Program of the Federal Republic of Germany, funded by the European Recovery Program (ERP) of the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action (BMWK).
30 German, US and Canadian members of parliament will engage in an intensive exchange on the topic of critical infrastructure. The participants of the fourth year will meet in Mainz, RP, and Austin, TX, as part of two study trips, as well as virtually through digital workshops.
16 German and U.S. state legislators engaged in discussions on structural change and the revitalization of post-industrial areas during the third Laboratories of Democracy cohort’s study trips to Dusseldorf, North Rhine-Westphalia, Harrisburg, PA, and virtual sessions.