Europa & die Welt Veranstaltung

Rebuilding Trust – Digital Trade and German-American relations in times of the NSA surveillance disclosures and the TTIP negotiations

The disclosures of the NSA’s surveillance activities last summer have undermined the trust that has been built in German-American relations over decades. The growing indignation culminated with the revelation that the NSA had even monitored Chancellor Merkel’s cell phone for years. The reactions to the question of how to balance freedom and security were very different on the two sides of the Atlantic: Edward Snowden is seen by many Germans as a whistleblower whose revelations served the public interest, while many Americans regard him as a traitor who put the safety of his country at risk.

At the same time, the negotiations over the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership between the USA and the EU got into high gear. After initial hopes of having a common project that strengthens ties, creates new jobs and accelerates innovation and growth on both sides of the Atlantic, the negotiations have entered a sobering stage. Some Europeans have called for the freezing of TTIP negotiations until the US guarantees protection of the digital rights for European citizens.

Against this background, the time has come to rebuild trust between Europe and the US with a candid and open discussion. Das Progressive Zentrum (Berlin) together with D64 – Zentrum für digitalen Fortschritt (Berlin) and the Progressive Policy Institute (Washington D.C.) invited for a roundtable discussion at 12:00 pm on April 25th in Berlin. The goal was to find common ground on issues affecting cross-border data trade and data protection as well as the design and further integration of the transatlantic economic partnership.

Das Progressive Zentrum was pleased to welcome, for the second time, Dr. Michael Mandel, who was named one of the top 100 business journalists of the 20th century by Business Week, for an opening statement. We were also honored to welcome Brigitte Zypries, Parliamentary State Secretary at the German Ministry of Economics and a key policymaker with regard to the digital agenda for the federal government. A further speaker was Konstantin von Notz, who became famous in recent times as Spokesman for the Committee of inquiry for NSA surveillance and Spokesman for political strategy for the internet for the Alliance 90/The Greens. From Airbus Group, we were pleased to welcome Guus Dekkers who is Chief Information Officer (CIO) at the European multinational aerospace manufacturer and was named “CIO of the year” in 2013 by Computerwoche.


12 p.m.          Welcome Note

Dominic Schwickert (Director at Das Progressive Zentrum)
Will Marshall (President at Progressive Policy Institute)

12.10 p.m.     Opening Statement

Dr. Michael Mandel (Chief Economic Strategist at Progressive Policy Institute)

12.30 p.m.     Response

Brigitte Zypries (Parliamentary State Secretary at the German Ministry of

Dr. Konstantin von Notz (Deputy Parliamentary Group Chairman of the

Guus Dekkers (Chief Information Officer at Airbus Group)

12.45 p.m.     Discussion


Moderated by: Sudha David-Wilp (Senior Transatlantic Fellow at the Berlin office of the German Marshall Fund of the United States).

Please download invitation note and agenda hereYou will find a selection of photos of the event on our facebook page.