German Council on Foreign Relations

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German Council on Foreign Relations
Deutsche Gesellschaft für Auswärtige Politik
Official logo of Deutsche Gesellschaft für Auswärtige Politik
FounderHermann Josef Abs
Robert Pferdmenges
TypeThink tank
Legal statusActive
FieldsForeign policy
Security policy
Official language
Tom Enders
AffiliationsCouncil on Foreign Relations
Chatham House

The German Council on Foreign Relations (German: Deutsche Gesellschaft für Auswärtige Politik e. V. (DGAP)) is Germany's national foreign policy network. As an independent, private, non-partisan and non-profit organisation, the Council actively takes part in political decision-making and promotes the understanding of German foreign policy and international relations.

It serves as forum for foreign policy and facilitates a comprehensive network of political, economic and academic decision makers. The institution aims at linking foreign politicians to the German public.


The association was founded in 1955 in Bonn. The model for the foundation was in many respects the Council on Foreign Relations in New York and the Chatham House in London.[1] The first president of the newly founded DGAP was the CDU politician, diplomat and entrepreneur Günther Henle.[2]

The office of the Deutsche Gesellschaft für auswärtige Politik in Berlin

In Bonn, the DGAP was seated in the villa at Joachimstraße 7 between 1956 and 1959 and then in the Villa Schaumburg-Lippe-Straße 6 between 1965-1966. In 1965 it acquired the former House of Craftsmen at Adenauerallee 131a in Bonn, including the Villa Adenauerallee 131, which in later years served as a logo of DGAP, for the first time its own building. It served as headquarters of the DGAP from April 1966 to 1999.

The current seat of the DGAP is the building of the Yugoslav embassy in the embassy district in Berlin-Tiergarten.


Internationally known as the "German Council on Foreign Relations", the DGAP sees itself as a practical think tank offering demand-driven policy advice on a scientific basis. It works to actively influence the foreign policy opinion-forming at all levels. Its work is aimed at decision-makers in German politics, business, public administration, in NGOs, in the military and to the general public. DGAP publishes the bimonthly journal Internationale Politik. Also, it is among other organisers of the EU-Russia Forum.

The Council provides:

  • A platform for discussions at conferences and in study group meetings as well as at public events.
  • Policy oriented analyses from research institute fellows.
  • Authoritative publications on contemporary topics by its journal Internationale Politik, the Jahrbuch Internationale Politik as well as in the publications from the research institute.
  • Expert and extensive documentation by its library and documentation section.

High-level guest speakers have in recent years included Angela Merkel (2006), Christine Lagarde (2012),[3] Ali Akbar Salehi (2013),[4] Recep Tayyip Erdoğan (2014), Mohammad Javad Zarif (2015), Paolo Gentiloni (2015), Volodymyr Groysman (2018), Nikos Kotzias (2018) and Nirmala Sitharaman (2019).


The DGAP is a member of the European Movement Germany.


In 2019, Microsoft announced that it had detected cyberattacks, which occurred between September and December 2018, targeting employees of the DGAP; they are believed to have originated from a group called Strontium.[5][6]




DGAP is financed through the contributions of its members, acquired project funds and contributions from sponsors and patrons, including among others, the Federal Foreign Office, Deutsche Bank, the Airbus and the Robert Bosch Foundation.[7]

Notable members[edit]

Prominent members are the former foreign minister Hans-Dietrich Genscher, the former President of Germany Richard von Weizsäcker, as well as some other famous German politicians and academics Volker Rühe, Günter Verheugen, Klaus von Dohnanyi, Eberhard Diepgen, Theodor Waigel, Michael Glos, Friedbert Pflüger, Rudolf Scharping, Dieter Schulte, Manfred Stolpe, Rita Süssmuth, and Antje Vollmer.


  1. ^ Daniel Eisermann in „Außenpolitik und Strategiediskussion“, „Die Deutsche Gesellschaft für Auswärtige Politik 1955–1972“, Oldenbourg Verlag, München 1999, Band 66, S. 62ff, ISBN 3-486-56338-6.
  2. ^ Daniel Eisermann in „Außenpolitik und Strategiediskussion“, „Die Deutsche Gesellschaft für Auswärtige Politik 1955–1972“, S. 79f.
  3. ^ Gernot Heller (January 23, 2012), IMF's Lagarde: Europe should boost, not double, ESM Reuters.
  4. ^ Andreas Rinke (February 4, 2013), Iran will never be military aggressor, minister says Reuters.
  5. ^ Madhumita Murgia and Tobias Buck (February 20, 2019), EU think-tanks strengthen their defences after Russian hacks Financial Times.
  6. ^ Shubham Kalia (February 20, 2019), Microsoft expands political security service to 12 European countries Reuters.
  7. ^ DGAP Webseite: "Förderer"

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 52°30′31″N 13°20′47″E / 52.5087°N 13.3463°E / 52.5087; 13.3463