Germany: Making Choices the 2017 Campus Campaign

Sponsored by the Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany Washington, D.C.

After an eventful campaign season in the United States, the world has now followed in suspense the national elections in Austria, the Netherlands, and most recently France.  On September 24, 2017, it is the citizens of Germany who will cast their ballots deciding on the political future of their country.  The outcome may affect the political landscape not only of the European Union.  Many of the topics debated in the German electoral campaigns will also have an impact on transatlantic relations. 

In the current political environment, more emphasize seems to be put on historic events and both voters and politicians alike are quick to draw parallels and compare historic systems and leaders; comparisons that at times seem ill-informed. In order to understand the present and the future better, one is therefore well advised to learn about the past.  To comprehend a nation’s choices in the here and now, it is also best to investigate cultural and socio-political as well as historical phenomenon of a given nation – in this case Germany’s.

The 2017 Campus Weeks Germany: Making Choices offer the chance to explore the German election process, understand Germany’s commitment to European integration, get to the heart of its migration policies, and look at the mutual benefits of transatlantic relationship.  The Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany in Washington, D.C. invited college and university campuses throughout the US to participate in the Germany: making Choices Campus Weeks 2017, and St. Thomas is again a partner.  This is the UST’s German program’s 5th campus campaign after Germany in Europe (2014), 25th Anniversary of the Fall of the Wall (2014), 25 years of German Unity (2015), and Germany Meets the US (2016).

In the 2017 Germany: Making Choices campus weeks at the University of St. Thomas, we will investigate how choices and cultural traditions on either side of the Atlantic can shape the Transatlantic Partnership and may affect international relations worldwide.  Following historian Brendan Simms, who demonstrates a fundamental political truth in Europe (2013), claiming, whoever controls the heart of Europe will control the entire continent, our campus weeks have two foci: firstly, promoting intercultural relationships and exchange of ideas and concepts by learning from best practices of the 20th century to effectively lead in the 21st century; and secondly, investigate and promote Germany’s cultural diversity.

Building on the success of the past campus campaigns, we will again open the events to the entire university and the wider Twin Cities German Community.