Meridian Global Business Briefing with H.E. Axel Dittmann, Deputy Chief of Mission, Embassy of Germany to the U.S.

Members of the Meridian Corporate Council listen to keynote remarks from Ambassador Axel Dittmann, Deputy Chief of Mission, Embassy of Germany. Photo By Stephen Bobb

With the transatlantic relationship more important than ever in the context of the war in Ukraine, U.S.-Germany cooperation has expanded in the realms of security, trade, and energy. On February 3, 2023, the Meridian Corporate Council partnered with Paramount to host a Global Business Briefing with H.E. Axel Dittmann. The discussion, moderated by Meridian CEO Stuart Holliday, covered key areas of collaboration between the United States and Germany 

H.E. Axel Dittmann is the Deputy Chief of Mission at the German Embassy in Washington, DC. Prior to this role he served as the director for EU Institutional Affairs, EU Coordination and the Conference on the Future of Europe. He was the Ambassador of the Federal Republic of Germany in Serbia until 2018. Before, he was a Head of the Department for Principal European Issues in the German Foreign Ministry’s Sector for Europe. An experienced diplomat with strong background in the matters of Western Balkans, Ambassador Dittmann started his career with the Foreign Ministry in 1994, working in Germany’s Permanent Mission in the UN. He was a member in the negotiating team of EU’s Special Envoy (late) Francois Leotard, which observed and mediated the aftermath of the 2001 crisis in Macedonia. From 2001 to 2004 he was a member of the team negotiating the Constitution of the European Union. Starting in 2006 and until 2007, Ambassador Dittmann was a participant – on the side of the UN – in negotiations on the future of Kosovo. 

In recent weeks, Germany has made the unprecedented step of providing Leopard tanks to Ukraine. Ambassador Dittmann highlighted this move – made in coordination with the United States – as exemplifying U.S.-German solidarity against Russian aggression. Ambassador Dittmann also underscored the importance of the U.S.-Germany trade relationship and the necessity of constructive dialogue in resolving disagreements and disputes. While Germany and Europe have faced economic costs due to divestment from Russian fossil fuels, this has opened new opportunities for diversifying Germany’s energy mix. Supply chains are also a critical facet of Germany’s economic policy, and Ambassador Dittmann recognized both the importance of China as an economic partner and the benefits of supply chain diversification. Lastly, the conversation touched on Germany’s ongoing Zeitenwende (paradigm-shift) in security policy and the upcoming first German National Security Strategy. 

Project summary

Meridian Global Business Briefing with H.E. Axel Dittmann, Deputy Chief of Mission, Embassy of Germany to the U.S. | February 2023
Number of Visitors: 27
Number of Attendees: 27
Countries: Germany
Impact Areas: Business and Trade, Foreign Policy, Security and Defense, Energy and the Environment
Program Areas: Diplomatic Engagement
Partners: Private Sector, Diplomatic Corps