The Atlantic Community is an open think tank where members (you have to sign up, but it is free) can discuss and debate on recent policy issues. The founders of the project “recognized the need for a new English-language venture that would strengthen European-American ties and thus reinforce the idea that today’s transatlantic agenda is global.”
In detail the goals of Atlantic Initiative are:
- Spread the message that today's transatlantic agenda is global: International challenges like terrorism, the energy crisis, and the rise of new powers in Asia demand a unified Western policy.
- Promote frank debates and collaboration between Europe and North America on issues of globalization and foreign policy.
- Cultivate and improve intellectual exchange across the Atlantic through increased networking opportunities between decision-makers, senior experts, as well as a new generation of students and future policy professionals.
- Promote and advance the future generation of decision-makers.
- Analyze foreign policy and the challenges of the twenty-first century in such a way that everybody can understand them. Our leitmotif is: Accessible Foreign Policy for Everybody!
The issues dealt with are in direct relation to our course discussions and the contributing authors include Rüdiger Lentz, the head of the Deutsche Welle Washington office (he is also the head of the Atlantic Initiative in the US) and scholars who research in the field of transatlantic relations.
What I liked about the Web site is the approach to open the discussion to a wider public and make the issue of foreign policy accessible to those who are not as much engaged on a regular basis, but have their own visions and opinions.
The fact that such an online portal enters the foreign policy discussion is also characteristic for the current stage of public diplomacy. As discussed in class and described in the Gilboa reading "Searching for a Theory of Public Diplomacy," more and more new players engage in international affairs, investigate PD activities and become active themselves.