United States

Urban Diplomacy Exchange between Germany and the USA

The Urban Diplomacy Exchange project serves to support, strengthen and appreciate municipal partnerships and the international networking of cities. At the beginning of 2022, the SKEW accompanied professional and local political exchange within German-American town partnerships.

The United States of America is the country with which Germany has the most town twinning agreements outside of Europe. A total of more than 200 existing German-American partnerships are listed, the first of which was concluded in 1947 between Crailsheim and Worthington. Many of these partnerships go back to personal relationships or - as in the case of Braunfels in central Hesse and New Braunfels in Texas - to a centuries-old history of emigration. Relations between German and US cities have remained largely stable during the Trump era and beyond. New town twinnings were even established during this time, including between Heidelberg and Palo Alto.

© Wonderful Together

Many cities are united by common climate goals, such as Stuttgart and Saint Louis, Berlin and Los Angeles or Kiel and San Francisco. After the Trump administration's decision to withdraw from the Paris climate agreement, numerous cities and states in the USA formed coalitions with universities and companies in order to uphold the decision of the UN climate conference in Paris. The participating US cities have thus demonstrated their leadership role and their commitment to accelerating climate protection measures.

Following the Trump administration's decision to pull the United States out of the Paris Agreement, numerous US cities and states have banded together to uphold the agreement.
Along with other stakeholders such as businesses and universities, US cities and states have joined coalitions supporting the Paris Agreement, demonstrating their leadership and commitment to accelerating climate action.

While the US government has not yet made the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) a political priority, sections of society are taking the lead in promoting the UN's Sustainable Development Goals both domestically and globally. Local governments, including cities and states, as well as businesses, universities and civil society use the SDGs to advance social, economic and environmental priorities. Potential for cross-sector cooperation is made visible.

In 2021, the United States also became the Office of Subnational Diplomacy within the US Government (Department of State) furnished. thereby learns subnational diplomacy great recognition and legitimacy. 

City partnership Hamm-Chattanooga © City of Hamm

Urban Diplomacy Exchange breathes new life into transatlantic relations and deepens municipal partnerships between the US and Germany. This is intended to promote understanding between Americans and Germans, which has suffered overall in recent years. An important tool for this is communication. The dialogue between societies remains an important pillar in these relationships, whether on the issues of climate and science-based politics, on strengthening democratic structures - a central concern on both sides of the Atlantic - or in the area of education

In addition to specialist exchanges on the 2030 Agenda, the focus is also on formats for strengthening democracy. Municipalities are places where democracy is directly experienced and can therefore illustrate particularly well how it works. The 2030 Agenda also offers a common framework for this, which, with its principle of participation, the guiding principle “Leave no one behind” and Goal 16, explicitly addresses aspects of democracy and citizen participation.

The cities involved should achieve the following goals with the specialist exchange trips as part of the Urban Diplomacy project:

Project milestones (GER-USA)

DE-USA events

Partnership Conference Washington DC

Panel Discussion: The Value of Urban Diplomacy for Mayors, Planners and Local Communities
October 20, 2022


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