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Interview with France 24 about Obama Speech in Berlin

The international news channel France 24 interviewed me after the Obama speech in Berlin and gave me an opportunity to talk about nuclear arms reduction, Obama's message to Europe, German defense spending, the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership and more. After roasting in the sun for hours waiting for Obama and interviewing Berliners about their expectations, I got to stand under equally strong spotlights for an hour of live television.

The other participants of the debate moderated by Franšois Picard were Tyson Barker of the Bertelsmann Foundation in Washington DC, Professor Anne Deysine of Paris X-Nanterre, Professor Anton Koslov of the American Graduate School of International Diplomacy, and the journalist Martin Untersinger. 

In the first video of the show I commented on Obama's statements on nuclear arms reduction and his goal of Global Zero (at 11:47 minutes). I also pointed out what I believe was Obama's most important message to Germans and Europeans in general (at 13:27 min) and called for solidarity and an increase in German defense spending to meet the NATO criteria (14:00 min). I assessed his speech in general (15:36 min) and spoke on the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (16:10):

Below, the second video for the other half of the talk show begins with my comments on the high security measures for the speech, then I spoke on PRISM and data protection (12:13 min), and the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) again (18:57 and at 23:38):

I was honored by the invitation and appreciate that they gave the sweating talking head from Berlin the last word on TTIP, especially since France 24's "mission is to cover international current events from a French perspective and to convey French values throughout the world."

My interviews with other Berliners

I have conducted video interviews for at Obama's first Berlin speech in 2008 and again this week when he spoke as President to a smaller, but still very enthusiastic, crowd. I did not interview the usual suspects from think tanks, but two high school students, a representative of the Pirate Party, and the President of the Berlin Academy of Arts who gave us an interview at the 2008 speech as well.

Prefer reading to watching videos?

I blogged about my expectations prior to his speech "Germany Needs Tough Love from Obama" and also shared my initial thoughts after the speech: "Obama Criticizes Complacency in the 'City of Hope'". I argued that Obama successfully charmed the crowd and gave an emotional boost to German-American relations, but that his political message to Germany was too subtle and has not convinced politicians and citizens.

Moreover, David Francis interviewed me for the Fiscal Times.

Joerg Wolf works for the Atlantische Initiative as editor-in-chief of the open think tank He founded the Atlantic Review in 2005 and blogs here and on Facebook in his free time on transatlantic issues ranging from security to economics and pop culture. Joerg is a Berliner, a Fulbrighter, and an Atlanticist. Follow him on Twitter.


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