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REF NO.: 348

SUBJECT: Co-ordinator for German-North American Cooperation to visit and lecture at Memorial University
DATE: June 23, 2005

Note to editors:

Karsten D. Voigt, co-ordinator for German-North American Co-operation, will be visiting Memorial University on Tuesday, June 28, 2005. Mr. Voigt reports to the chancellor and senior ministers in the German government and has the mandate of strengthening German relations with Canada and the United States. He is the former leader of the German Social Democratic Party (SPD), president of the Parliamentary Assembly of NATO and member of the German Federal Parliament.

During his visit to Canada, Mr. Voigt will give a series of lectures in St. John’s, Halifax, Charlottetown and Montreal on German-North American relations and commenting on current developments in Europe. More information on Mr. Voigt’s work is available at globetrotter.berkeley.edu/people/Voigt/voigt-con0.html. Media agencies are invited to send representatives to the following two lectures which Mr. Voigt will deliver when he visits Memorial on June 28:

Time: 2 p.m.

Title: Germany and the EU

Location: Political Science class 3291 - S-2036, located in the Science Building on Memorial University's St. John's campus

Time: 5:30 p.m.

Title: Transatlantic Relations

Location: Senior Common Room, R. Gushue Hall

Background:

In February 1999, Karsten D. Voigt, former foreign-policy spokesman of the SPD parliamentary group in the German Bundestag, was appointed German "co-ordinator of German-American Co-operation in the Field of Intersocietal Relations, Cultural and Information Policy". His task is to strengthen transatlantic relations between Germanyand Canadaon the one hand and Germanyand the USAon the other hand. The co-ordinator develops new initiatives, widens the range of co-operation and ensures that the various programs are co-ordinated. He expands contacts with decision-makers in all spheres of Canadian and US society - particularly in universities, research establishments and also parliaments - and promotes encounters at all levels of society, not least through a wide range of exchanges.

The position of co-ordinator was initially created in 1981 by the governments of the Federal Republic of Germany and the United States of America on a German initiative. With the arrival of Karsten Voigt, the scope of the co-ordinator’s activities has been expanded by the inclusion of Canada. The previous incumbents were former minister of state Hildegard Hamm-Brücher, former state secretary and ambassador in Washington Bernd von Staden and the Munich-based political scientist Prof. Werner Weidenfeld.

Amongst other activities, the co-ordinator ensures that the web-based Directory of German-American Resources is kept up to date. This directory contains a vast array of information on schools and other educational establishments, as well as on cultural, scientific, vocational training and partnership organizations which promote transatlantic exchange in general. Further information can be found on the Web sites of the German Embassy Ottawa (www.GermanEmbassyOttawa.org) or the GIC (German Information Center) in New York(www.germany-info.org).

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