Almost seventeen years after the Berlin Wall fell, German-American relations represent a mixture of partnership, competition, and a vast network of political, economic and cultural ties which make up one of the most intensive bilateral relations on the globe. A cornerstone of the Euro-Atlantic framework, German-American relations remain of critical importance to both sides of the Atlantic. However, the reasons why that is the case have been in continuous transformation, as the interests and the needs of the United States and the Federal Republic of Germany have responded to the demands of a changing environment during the past five decades, especially since the end of the Cold War. Angela Merkel has stated clearly that she sees a stronger Europe and a stronger transatlantic relationship as two sides of the same coin. While that has been the mantra of many chancellors before her, she has an opportunity to help define what it means today. In setting the priorities and the course of German foreign policy while engaging in an honest and candid dialogue with Washington, Angela Merkel will be building on a mixture of continuity and change within the German debate about its European and global roles and responsibilities.