Cablegate: A Vision and a Way Forward for Cg Duesseldorf

DE RUEHDF #0013/01 1101530
R 201530Z APR 07





E.O. 12958: N/A

DUSSELDORF 00000013 001.2 OF 003

1. Summary: After a thorough review of CG Duesseldorf
operations, we have developed a roadmap for the long run that
differs radically from the past and implements the Secretary's
transformational diplomacy directives. Our vision is to
continue advancing vital US interests in Germany and Europe from
a small platform in North-Rhine Westphalia (NRW), Germany's most
populous and politically and economically most important state.
By fall 2008, when our restructuring is complete, our presence
and activities here will be transformed. Following the closure
of our American Citizen Services section in July and the
transfer of five PD staff from Amerika Haus Cologne (AHK) to
Duesseldorf by the end of FY 2007, our core focus will be on our
interests in the heart of western Germany: supporting American
business and promoting economic relations with the U.S.; public
diplomacy, particularly engaging with NRW-based national and
regional media and promoting a more sophisticated understanding
of the U.S. among elites, opinion leaders and successor
generations; and political and terrorism-related reporting. As
NRW (and Cologne in particular) is widely considered the
"capital of Islam in Germany," we will ramp up our already
significant Muslim engagement. Finally, we are completing the
transfer of AHK to a coalition of German partners who will
establish an institution with which we can cooperate on future
public affairs activities, providing an unofficial but important
public presence. This much smaller footprint will enable
continued effective representation of USG interests in this
powerful region in the heart of Europe. End Summary.

Why NRW Matters

2. A small USG presence in NRW will deliver quantifiable added
value for our interests that are very difficult if not
impossible to accomplish remotely, say, from Berlin or
Frankfurt. To review NRW's very prominent position within the
German context and more broadly -- which U.S. business
constituencies (including USDOC) as well as German and other
experts well understand but which can be underappreciated -- we
summarize some of NRW's more salient aspects:

-- NRW has about 22 percent of the German population and a
comparable share of total GDP. Demographers and economists
liken NRW's economic weight and importance for Germany as a
whole -- in U.S. terms -- to that of California, Texas and New
York combined. If NRW were an independent country, it would
rank about 17-19th in the world in terms of its GDP (2005
figures), or on the order of magnitude of a Netherlands,
Australia, Switzerland, or Brazil. Among the EU 27, NRW is
sixth in terms of GDP (after Spain) and eighth in terms of
population (after Romania).

-- Nearly half (21 or 42%) of the top 50 German companies and
1/3 of the DAX 30 firms are headquartered in NRW -- including
heavyweights like Deutsche Telekom, Deutsche Post, Henkel, E.ON,
RWE, Bertelsmann, ThyssenKrupp, and Bayer; all have enormous
interests in the United States and employ hundreds of thousands
of Americans.

-- About 640 U.S. companies are located in NRW, directly
employing some 170,000 and many thousands more, generating some
54 billion Euros annually. The most important U.S. firms
include: Ford Germany and Ford Europe HQ (a production facility
employing 18,000 persons); the largest Opel (GM) assembly plant
in Germany; 3M; UPS; QVC; Microsoft; Delphi; Johnson Controls;
Masterfoods; Heinz; DuPont; Goodyear; all the major U.S.
consulting companies; several major U.S. law firms; and fashion
and advertising firms. Half of Germany's largest wholesalers
and retailers, which are excellent partners for US exporters,
are based in NRW. Many of these serve as European or regional

-- NRW is the world's number one trade fair location, with more
than 100 internationally leading trade fairs per year in
Cologne, D|sseldorf, Essen and Dortmund, which attract more than
6 million visitors/year. This is one major reason for the large
FCS presence in Duesseldorf (the largest in Germany and one of
the largest in Europe). NRW thus is pivotal because of its own
market size, purchasing power, and excellent infrastructure and
is increasingly important as a platform for U.S. firms to do
business worldwide.

-- NRW hosts more than 5 million trade visitors annually.
Duesseldorf's FCS Section aggressively supports the 3,000 plus
US exhibitors (2005/2006) and, through its industry
specialization role, hundreds of exhibitors at shows outside of
NRW. FCS Duesseldorf has lead responsibility within Mission
Germany for over 24 industry and consumer product sectors, with
particular focus on the healthcare technologies (for which it
coordinates activities among Commercial Service posts in Europe
and other regions of the world), industrial and capital goods
and materials, and many consumer products.

DUSSELDORF 00000013 002.2 OF 003

-- FCS Duesseldorf is the worldwide leader in the Commerce
Department's recently announced "Invest in USA" program. Future
investments by German firms in the U.S. are projected to exceed
$3 billion over the near term, generating tens of thousands of
direct and indirect American jobs.

-- About one third of Germany's more than 3 million strong
Muslim population resides in NRW. The four leading Muslim
umbrella organizations (Zentralrat der Muslime/ZMD, Islamrat,
DITIB, Verband der Islamischen Kulturzentren/VIKZ), as well as
the newly formed Coordination Council of Muslims (KRM), are
headquartered in the state, as are other key groups, such as
Milli Gvr|s.

-- NRW remains the only state in Germany with an Integration
Ministry with a special responsibility for integrating NRW's
large immigrant population, in particular those with a Turkish
and Muslim background.

-- More than 450,000 students study at NRW universities which
educate about 23 percent of all university graduates in Germany.
Five of Germany's ten largest universities are located in NRW,
including Cologne, Germany's largest, with 45,000 students.

-- Six German ministries (including Defense, Foreign Aid, and
Environment), key to advancing U.S. interests in Europe and
globally, remain in the Bonn area. This also applies to the
Ministry of Health and ancillary institutions, which are of
particular significance to FCS. A number of important German
federal agencies important to US business and other interests
(e.g. the Federal Cartel Office and the Regulatory Authority for
Telecommunications and Energy) also remain in Bonn, where more
federal workers work than in Berlin. Seven U.N. organizations
are headquartered in Bonn.

-- NRW has the second largest number of foreign representations
in Germany by consular district: Berlin approx 131; D|sseldorf
53 (plus 34 trade and investment promotion offices); Frankfurt
44; Hamburg 31; Munich 27; and Leipzig 6 (Duesseldorf figures
from April 2007; others from 2006).

-- NRW is the second most populous consular district in Mission
Germany, with a population of about 18.1 million. (Frankfurt
leads with 21.9, Hamburg is third with 14.9, followed by Munich
with 12.4, Leipzig with 9.1 and Berlin with 6 million.)

Who We Want to be After 2008

3. We are revamping our structure to create a CG Duesseldorf
resting on four pillars that will enable us to advance U.S.
interests in this major region, but with significantly fewer
personnel and other resources.

a) Two American officers (PO and IROG) along with 12 total LES
staff (PD, P/E, and MGT). This would be two FSO and seven LES
positions fewer than we had in summer 2006. This scenario
depends on replacing the three FSOs (PAO, P/E and CON/MGT) we
will have lost by summer 2008 with one IROG officer (who would
handle PD, P/E, and MGT functions), using a position
reprogrammed from Berlin to coincide with the 2008 summer
transfer cycle (see septel). Without this additional officer,
we would be unable to carry out our current responsibilities to
the Mission or to Washington, and could only provide a much
reduced PD program, less visit support, and little reporting.

b) A robust Commercial Service presence consisting of seven LES
staff and a locally engaged American Director, to cover the
enormous amount of trade fair activity in NRW and to promote
trade and investment ties. This represents no change from the

c) A 5-person PD section consisting of a Cultural Specialist
(senior PD FSN), a Press Specialist, the Information
Coordinator, and two Cultural Affairs Assistants. This team
will assume the most important activities of the four PD LES
staff whose positions are being eliminated. As NRW (and Cologne
in particular) is widely referred to as the "capital of Islam in
Germany," we will ramp up our already significant Muslim
engagement. We have also made a promising start in transferring
AHK to a coalition of German partners who, under the leadership
of Cologne Mayor Fritz Schramma, will take over a legacy
institution that will -- in the successful tradition of
German-American Institutes in Bavaria and Baden Wuerttemberg --
significantly enhance our public affairs activities, providing
unofficial but important public presence.

d) An Amcit Consular Agent working out of the successor
institution to AHK in Cologne, occupying an office that Mayor
Schramma has offered to the USG at no cost. This proposal would

DUSSELDORF 00000013 003.2 OF 003

help mitigate the negative PR effects the cessation of all ACS
services will have among the estimated 11,000 Amcits (plus dual
nationals, whose number we do not know but believe could easily
exceed 20,000) who reside in our consular district, as well as
among the almost two thousand German citizens and other
nationals who use our notarial and other services annually. It
would also handle the more time consuming ACS work (prison
visits, child custody, etc) that would be inefficient to cover
from Frankfurt. This scenario is vastly less expensive
(approximately $35,000/annum for a full time Consular Agent, or
about 1/3 the cost of one senior FSN) than the current ACS unit.
A cable spelling out this scenario follows septel.


4. The vision sketched out here for CG Duesseldorf will result
in major savings while ensuring a trimmed-to-the-bone staffing
pattern and minimal footprint for advancing US interests in a
major region in Germany and Europe. We have undertaken this
thorough review of our operations in close cooperation and
consultation with Embassy Berlin. The Consulate General would
be unable to manage the breadth and depth of our interests in
NRW with only one American officer -- however talented and
active, and however good our LES staff may be. A one-officer
scenario (essentially an expanded APP) would be unable to cover
properly a state as important as NRW in a country as important
as Germany. From this small platform, we will be able to
continue mobilizing important constituencies as partners in our
bilateral and global agenda, engaging Germany's most important
Muslim leaders and population centers, and providing the support
that U.S. business expect and deserves.

5. An additional FSO position, reprogrammed from Berlin in
summer 2008 would enable us to do considerably more than with
only one officer, and significantly improve our productivity,
particularly in the PD area. A Consular Agent would lessen the
pressure on Frankfurt, which will face major increases in
workload and costs following the transfer of consular services,
while also demonstrating USG commitment to American citizens.

6. Embassy Berlin has cleared this cable.

© Scoop Media

World Headlines


Ramzy Baroud: Year in Review Will 2018 Usher in a New Palestinian Strategy

2017 will be remembered as the year that the so-called ‘peace process’, at least in its American formulation, has ended. And with its demise, a political framework that has served as the foundation for US foreign policy in the Middle East has also collapsed. More>>


North Korea: NZ Denounces Missile Test

Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters has denounced North Korea’s latest ballistic missile test. The test, which took place this morning, is North Korea’s third test flight of an inter-continental ballistic missile. More>>


Campbell On: the US demonising of Iran

Satan may not exist, but the Evil One has always been a handy tool for priests and politicians alike.

Currently, Iran is the latest bogey conjured up by Washington to (a) justify its foreign policy interventions and (b) distract attention from its foreign policy failures.

Once upon a time, the Soviet Union was the nightmare threat for the entire Cold War era – and since then the US has cast the Taliban, al Qaeda, and Islamic State in the same demonic role. Iran is now the latest example…More

Catalan Independence:
Pro-independence parties appear to have a narrow majority. More>>