Today's report was written by Brandon Moore.
The morning began at the offices of the DBV, The McCloys sat in on the Monday morning meeting where the previous weeks events were discussed and the next week is planned. Since the meeting was in German we were briefed afterwards by Roger Fechler, our Berlin guide and previous McCloy Fellow.
We quickly moved on to the Deutscher Raiffeisenverband (DRV). The DRV is the equivalent of our Coop Banks and was founded in 1948 to help rural German farmers who could rarely obtain credit.
Next was a business lunch with policy advisors from Bayer CropScience and the DBV. We also had representatives from the Green Party and the CSU/CDU (Conservative Christian Party). There were many great discussions. It was very interesting that our two countries have many of the same issues and concerns.
Germany will have a new coalition in political leadership resulting from the recent election. It will likely result in a more moderate-leaning government.This was in contrast to the US government which seems to be becoming more polarized. We also discussed the EU's equivalent to the Farm Bill, which was just passed.
We then returned to the DBV to discuss the upcoming EU-USA trade agreement, for which negotiations were halted this week due to the US government shutdown. We discussed the EU objection to GMOs, which seems to be consumer driven.
Our day ended with a tour of the German Parlaiment offices and the Reichstag. We climbed to the top of the dome, where citizens can look down on their government at work. We were able to look out across Berlin across the Tiergarten, the equivalent of New York's Central Park, and the Brandenburg Gate.
We ended the evening with a great dinner of Schnitzel.