Although they are based on very similar ideas, Atlantik-brúcke is not to be confused with its British counterpart The Atlantic Bridge
Atlantik-Brücke ('Atlantic Bridge') is the leading German private association to promote German-American understanding and Atlanticism. Founded in Hamburg in 1952, it was located in Bonn between 1983 and 1999 and is now located in Berlin.
The association organizes invitation-only conferences, seminars and colloquia. Through various programs for "Young Leaders", military officers, journalists, and students, Atlantik-Brücke fosters social networks among current and future leaders in business and world affairs.
The two Atlantik-Brücke Young Leaders conferences receive more than 500 applications per year, from which 120 Young Leaders are chosen with the help of a steering committee of political, business and academic leaders. Sixty young leaders are chosen for the German-American Conference (30 Americans and 30 Germans) and sixty are chosen for the European Conference. As of 2011, the German-American Young Leaders Conference has been running for 33 years.
The Young Leaders Program initiated by Atlantik-Brücke represents the oldest and largest program dedicated to identifying and nurturing relationships among the future custodians of the transatlantic partnership. Since the first Young Leaders Conference was held in 1973, over 1,500 Europeans and Americans have attended one of thirty-two German-American Young Leaders Conferences or ten European Young Leaders Conferences. Alumni of these prestigious gatherings remain in contact with each other both informally and through regional discussion groups and biennial alumni conferences that had been held under the auspices of Atlantik-Brücke. On January 1, 2011 Atlantik-Brücke established the independent organization "Atlantik Forum e.V. – the Young Leaders Alumni of Atlantik-Brücke" to more effectively facilitate and manage all these activities.
Prominent Young Leaders alumni
Christian Wulff, Former Federal President of Germany Thomas de Maizière, Former Federal Minister of Interior Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg, Former Federal Minister of Defense Michael Otto, Chairman of the Supervisory Board of Otto Group Jürgen Großmann, Chairman of the Managing Board of RWE Thomas Enders, President and CEO of Airbus Industries Paul-Bernhard Kallen, Chairman of the Board of Hubert Burda Media Holding Hans-Gert Pöttering, Former President of the European Parliament Charles Schumer, Senior U.S. Senator from New York Cem Özdemir, Chairman of Alliance 90/The Greens Edelgard Bulmahn Member of Parliament; Former Federal Minister of Education and Research Michael Vassiliadis, Chairman of the Board of IG BCE – Mining, Chemical and Energy Industrial Union Wolfgang Ischinger, Former German Ambassador to the United States Richard Burt, Former United States Ambassador to Germany Silvana Koch-Mehrin, Vice President of the European Parliament Craig Kennedy, President of the German Marshall Fund of the United States Kai Diekmann, Editor-in-Chief of BILD Zeitung Katja Gloger, Editor-at-large, STERN Magazin Joshua Bolten, Former White House Chief of Staff, President George W. Bush
Eric M. Warburg (founder of the firm currently known as Warburg Pincus) was one of the founders of Atlantik-Brücke, together with legendary editor Marion Gräfin Dönhoff, Chancellor of Germany Helmut Schmidt and other leading Hamburg citizens. In those Cold War times, the U.S. was looking for influence on Germany. The Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) probably gave the idea for founding the Atlantik-Brücke; Eric M. Warburg was a friend and consultant for John J. McCloy, Chairman of the Council on Foreign Relations and President of the World Bank. The Atlantik-Brücke is the German counterpart for the U.S. based American Council on Germany (members include US diplomats Richard Holbrooke and Henry Kissinger).
Extract of member list
Below you can find an extract of the member list of the Atlantik Brücke:
Philip D. Murphy, former United States Ambassador to Germany Henry Kissinger, former Secretary of State of the United States of America Josef Ackermann, former CEO of Deutsche Bank, Germany Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg, former Secretary of Defense of Germany Helmut Kohl, former Chancellor of Germany Helmut Schmidt, former Chancellor of Germany Rupert Stadler, former chairman of Audi AG Torsten Oltmanns, Global Marketing Director at Roland Berger Strategy Consultants Joachim Gauck, former President of Germany Angela Merkel, Chancellor of Germany
Members of the Board
Former Federal Minister Sigmar Gabriel, MdB (SPD), Deutscher Bundestag, Berlin Vice-Chairmen
Professor Dr. Michael Hüther, Director and Member of the Presidium, German Economic Institute, Cologne
Former Federal Minister Dr. Norbert Röttgen, MdB (CDU/CSU), Berlin Treasurer
Professor Dr. Andreas Dombret, Former Member, Executive Board of Deutsche Bundesbank, Columbia University, New York Executive Director
Dr. [David Deissner]]
Members of the Board
Reiner Hoffmann, German Federation of Trade Unions (DGB), Berlin
Ambassador Wolfgang Ischinger, Munich Security Conference (MSC), Munich
Alexander Graf Lambsdorff, MdB (FDP), Deutscher Bundestag, Berlin
Parliamentary State Secretary Christian Lange, MdB (SPD), Federal Ministry of Justice and Consumer Protection, Berlin
Eveline Metzen, American Chamber of Commerce in Germany e.V., Frankfurt am Main
James von Moltke, Deutsche Bank AG, Frankfurt am Main
Omid Nouripour, MdB (Bündnis 90/ Die Grünen), Deutscher Bundestag, Berlin
Julie Linn Teigland, Ernst & Young GmbH, Mannheim
Anahita Thoms, Baker & McKenzie, Düsseldorf
Friederike von Tiesenhausen Cave, Bloomberg L.P., London
Karsten Uhlmann, Frankfurter Brauhaus GmbH, Frankfurt (Oder)
Dr. Nagila Warburg, Warburg Archive Foundation, Hamburg
Dr. Michael Werz, Center for American Progress, Washington, DC
Ute Wolf, Evonik Industries AG, Essen