The recent electoral victory of the political establishment in the Netherlands is just one issue setting the stage for what will be a wide-ranging conversation with Germany’s consul general in Atlanta Tuesday, March 21.
Global Atlanta’s Consular Conversations series continues at noon that day with Ambassador Detlev Ruenger, who is set to discuss the political climate across Europe in the run-up to German and French elections this fall, among other issues.
Fears that populist candidates may pull the bloc hard to the right and threaten its integrity are flaring since the Brexit vote last year. EU supporters are cheering the defeat of Geert Wilders and his Freedom Party as a much-needed blow to a xenophobic and anti-establishment platform. Proponents point out that Freedom still picked up five seats in parliament.
Liberal Europeans are cheering the win as a bulwark against a wave of populism that seems to gather momentum with each victory for like-minded leaders, regardless of country. Brexiteers, for instance, along with France’s National Front leader Marine Le Pen, cheered President Donald Trump’s anti-establishment upset victory in the U.S.
In a coincidence unforeseen when arranging the events, the World Affairs Council of Atlanta is hosting on the morning of March 21 a breakfast with one of the architects of the “Leave” campaign in the United Kingdom: former U.K. Independence Party leader Nigel Farage.
Of course, politics won’t be the only theme in what will be the eight public interview in the consular series to be held during a lunch at Miller & Martin PLLC’s Midtown offices.
Mr. Ruenger will discuss German investment and cultural affairs in the South, where his country is a leading investor and has been instrumental in helping companies and cities work together to solve workforce challenges, especially in manufacturing.