Expert Panel Chaired by Dr. Karen Donfried and Amb. Wolfgang Ischinger recommends joint U.S.-European initiatives to meet shared challenges

“Transatlantic Task Force” includes fourteen U.S. and European leaders from government, business, academia, non-profits

Washington, D.C. and Hamburg (October 5, 2020) – The United States and Europe face a daunting set of challenges ranging from the pandemic and resulting economic recession to climate change, China, disruptive technologies-- and security threats.  No country can solve these pressing issues on its own.  No country can solve these pressing issues on its own; but if the transatlantic community can agree on and implement shared policies, the chances of success will be far greater.

A new comprehensive set of 36 policy recommendations published today by an expert Transatlantic Task Force co-chaired by Dr. Karen Donfried, President of the German Marshall Fund, and Ambassador Wolfgang Ischinger, Chairman of the Munich Security Conference, offers a much-needed path forward for U.S.-European partnership.

The task force: “Together or Alone: Choices and Strategies for Transatlantic Relations for 2021 and Beyond” is a project of the Hamburg-based Bundeskanzler-Helmut-Schmidt-Stiftung (BKHS) and the German Marshall Fund of the United States (GMF).

In addition to strengthening long-standing cooperation on security and economics, the report outlines deeper collaboration on pandemic recovery and preparedness, China, technology, and climate.  The recommendations reflect the deliberations of the co-chairs and the 14 American and European task force members, supplemented by interviews by executive director Bruce Stokes with more than 150 European and American experts from diverse fields and countries.

Key shared challenges and recommendations include:


  • Collaborate on Future Vaccine Development and Production: Jointly finance vaccines for future pandemics; agree on licensing, pricing of COVID-19 vaccine; and fund COVID-19 vaccination in the developing world.


  • Pursue Reciprocity in Economic Relations with China: Agree to reciprocity of opportunity as the organizing principle in relations with China in terms of market access, investment, and protection of intellectual property, among other things.

Economic Recovery:

  • Coordinate Economic Recovery Efforts: Focus new investment on a green recovery, avoid a premature withdrawal of economic stimulus, coordinate stimulus reductions and the unwinding of government positions in companies to avoid competitive frictions, deepen anti-trust policy cooperation, and coordinate the screening of foreign investment based on a shared understanding of what degree of government subsidy of foreign investors is permissible.

The task force report offers further recommendations for transatlantic cooperation to address these challenges, as well as technology policy, climate change, and security.

Members of GMF and the BKHS Transatlantic Task Force are:

  • General John Allen, President, The Brookings Institution
  • Rt Hon Baroness Catherine Ashton, Chair of Global Europe, Woodrow Wilson Center; Former EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, and Vice President of the European Commission
  • Mr. Thierry Déau, Founder/CEO, Meridiam
  • Dr. Sławomir Dębski, Director, Polish Institute of International Affairs
  • Prof. Dr. Henrik Enderlein, President, Hertie School; Professor of Political Economy; Director, Jacques Delors Centre
  • Dr. Michael Froman, Vice Chairman and President, Strategic Growth, Mastercard; Former U.S. Trade Representative and Deputy National Security Advisor for International Economic Affairs
  • U.S. Representative Will Hurd, Member, U.S. House of Representatives (R-TX 23)
  • Dr. Miroslav Lajčák, EU Special Representative for the Belgrade-Pristina Dialogue and other Western Balkan regional issues; former Minister of Foreign and European Affairs, Slovakia
  • Ms. Merle Maigre, Senior Expert of Cyber Security, Estonian e-Governance Academy
  • Dr. Cecilia Malmström, Former EU Trade Commissioner, visiting professor University of Göteborg
  • Dr. James Manyika, Chairman and Director, McKinsey Global Institute
  • Dr. Kori Schake, Director of Foreign and Defense Policy Studies, American Enterprise Institute
  • U.S. Representative Elissa Slotkin, Member, U.S. House of Representatives
  • Dr. Nathalie Tocci, Director, Istituto Affari Internazionali
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