Konrad Adenauer Foundation

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Konrad Adenauer Foundation


Legal form: Registered association
Purpose: "The Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung makes a contribution to secure and increase peace, freedom and prosperity in Europe and in the world"
Chair: Norbert Lammert
Board of Trustees: Wolfgang Schüssel (Chair)
Managing directors: Michael Thielen (General Secretary)
Consist: since 1955
Number of employees: 556 (domestic)
1,293 (worldwide)
Seat: Berlin
Website: www.kas.de

no founder specified

The Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung e. V. (KAS) is a party-affiliated foundation in the legal form of an association , which is ideally close to the Christian Democratic Union and is mainly financed by federal and state funds. In an international comparison, the Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung is considered to be the leading think tank in Germany and one of the most influential think tanks in the world.

The former President of the Bundestag Norbert Lammert has held the chairmanship since January 1, 2018, while Michael Thielen , the former State Secretary in the Federal Ministry of Education , is Secretary General .

Creation and order

Namesake Konrad Adenauer (1952)
Association headquarters in Sankt Augustin

As early as 1952 there were first preliminary considerations by CDU politicians for systematic civic education work. In the years that followed, the CDU federal executive board, with the participation of Federal Chancellor Konrad Adenauer, discussed the establishment of an education and training facility to promote young political talent.

The academy in Berlin

The Society for Christian-Democratic Educational Work , founded in 1955 under Bruno Heck at Eichholz Castle in Wesseling , has been named after the first Chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany , Konrad Adenauer , since 1964 . Nationally and internationally, the Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung is committed to political education and the promotion of European unification , supports art and culture , promotes talented students and doctoral candidates with scholarships and documents and researches the historical development of the Christian-democratic movement. Like all party-affiliated foundations, she tries to influence society as a think tank for her party.


The foundation is based in Berlin, where it has also maintained the academy as a central event house since 1998 . In the field of political education there are 18 political education forums and regional offices across Germany. The Villa La Collina , Adenauer's long-term vacation home in Cadenabbia on Lake Como , now serves as an international conference venue. The two educational institutions Schloss Eichholz and Schloss Wendgräben were sold and closed in 2014.

In the former headquarters in Sankt Augustin , near the former federal capital Bonn, is the archive for Christian-Democratic Politics , which opens up and researches the history of Christian democracy in Germany and Europe. This includes 17,500 linear meters of documents, modern media and a special library with around 157,000 titles. The offer includes German student funding, graduate funding, foreigner funding and the maintenance of a journalists' academy as part of the gifted funding .

Foreign engagement

General information

The KAS maintains around 80 offices abroad and supports politically related parties and organizations in more than 100 self-help projects in 120 countries. The partner parties are Christian Democratic or right-wing liberal parties such as the Polish Platforma Obywatelska or the Chilean Partido Demócrata Cristiano de Chile .

The KAS European and International Cooperation Department publishes various series of publications:

  • Auslandsinformationen , a magazine for international issues, foreign policy and development cooperation, through which information gathered in connection with the international work of the association is made available to the public.
  • KAS International
  • Country reports

With five regional rule of law programs ("Southeast Europe", "Latin America", "Asia", "Sub-Saharan Africa" ​​and "Middle East / North Africa"), the KAS supports the development of the respective constitutional law, human rights protection, integration law and procedural law with the aim of democratization.

Another focus is the media programs with the aim of promoting free, responsible and ethical reporting.

Special features of individual foreign offices


The international activities of the KAS began in 1962 with first contacts in Venezuela . The Primero Justicia is a partner party of the KAS in Venezuela.


In 1996 the KAS helped to consolidate the coalition United Democratic Forces (ODS) of the democratic forces of Bulgaria, which was able to take over the government the following year under the leadership of the Union of Democratic Forces .

middle East

In conflict regions such as the Middle East, the KAS tries to support both sides in their peaceful development and thereby to set positive impulses in overcoming the conflict; In the Middle East conflict, for example, the foundation supports projects in Palestine and Israel by sponsoring Israeli-Palestinian teacher seminars on peacebuilding curriculum development.


The KAS works in Ukraine with the Ukrainian Democratic Alliance for Reforms , the party of Vitali Klitschko and the Fatherland Party of Arseniy Yatsenjuks .


On September 1, 2014, after more than 50 years of presence, the KAS closed its office in Ecuador. The office manager Winfried Weck justified the decision by saying that the government of President Rafael Correa is increasingly controlling "the political work of foundations and non-governmental organizations" and is exercising influence over them.

Searches of foundation offices


The office in Egypt was raided in December 2011, like the offices of 16 other non-governmental organizations (NGOs), on suspicion of illegal “foreign funding”. In February 2012, the Egyptian government charged that several NGOs were involved in a "foreign conspiracy" against Egypt. As a result, the KAS representative in Egypt, Andreas Jacobs, and a German employee were banned from traveling. In summer 2013, a court in Cairo sentenced two KAS employees and another 41 employees from other NGOs to several years in prison in absentia. Andreas Jacobs was sentenced to five years' imprisonment, another employee to two years. According to the court ruling, the foundation is said to have used foreign funds illegally in Egypt, including to stir up unrest in the country. The judgment was heavily criticized in Western society.


On March 26, 2013, officials from the Russian Public Prosecutor's Office temporarily confiscated several computers from the KAS office in Saint Petersburg . The proceedings that had been initiated were discontinued after two days. Russian President Vladimir Putin defended the action against some harsh criticism, including a. by Chancellor Angela Merkel and the chairman of the foundation, Hans-Gert Pöttering .

Cooperations with other foundations and organizations

In Bavaria the Hanns Seidel Foundation (CSU) replaces the Konrad Adenauer Foundation , and in Schleswig-Holstein the Hermann Ehlers Foundation . The KAS not only works with these Union-related foundations. So she published z. For example, in connection with the Bertelsmann Foundation , the Market Economy Foundation and the Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom as part of the Forum Föderalismus 2004 series, a study entitled “Educational Policy in the Federal System and International Influence”, in which she deals with the Positioned the debate on education policy and reforms and discussed opportunities for influence. In addition, in 1989, together with the Friedrich Ebert Foundation , the Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom, the Hanns Seidel Foundation and the Heinrich Böll Foundation, a “joint declaration” was drawn up on the self-image and the financing of political foundations in Germany . The KAS is a member of the European Movement Network . As part of the neoliberal Stockholm Network, it also cooperates with other foundations and think tanks in the formation of transnational opinions in European politics. Together with the Anne Frank Fund , the KAS has been supporting the “Anne Frank Peace Days” organized annually by the city of Bergen since 2000 . Every year young people from several European cities are invited to take part in information events, do their own research and present the results publicly.


Monument to de Gaulle and Adenauer on the grounds of the Academy in Berlin, partial view

The foundation publishes a wide variety of publications. The association's monthly magazine is Die Politische Augen , which covers a wide range of political, social and cultural topics. Another of these journals is the KAS Auslandsinformationen , published monthly since 1987 , which deals with international political issues. The series of analyzes and arguments provides brief information on the KAS positions on current issues. The booklets present central results and recommendations, offer brief analyzes, explain the further plans of the KAS and name their contact persons. The magazine In Dialogue is a review with reports from the Bundestag and federal states, guest articles , reviews and press evaluations on current cultural policy. In addition, the KAS operates through a newsletter , publications in Herder Verlag and the brochure series Working Papers , Future Politics Forum , Historical-Political Announcements , materials for local work (for local politics) and the above-mentioned publications on foreign engagement.



The political foundation is mainly financed directly from public funds (99%, 78% of which are project-related), as well as grants (0.2%) and participant contributions (0.8%, figures for 2017). The treasurer is Christoph Brand. As a non-profit organization , the KAS can accept donations ( donations as well as inheritances and legacies ) in tax-privileged form. This is how the Else Heiliger Fund of the Konrad Adenauer Foundation came into being: the pharmacist's widow Else Heiliger (1902–1993) appointed the foundation as her sole heir in 1983, stipulating that the legacy should be used to support German artists in need. Since then, several artist grants have been awarded annually. The fund's capital was used up in 2009, but has since been topped up through further campaigns and sponsors.

Criticism and controversy

Konrad Adenauer playing boccia in Cadenabbia 1958
  • From 1985 to 1995, around 6.9 million DM in development aid money from the Ministry of Development flowed through the foundation to the Inkatha Resource and Information Center of the South African Inkatha Freedom Party . The KAS was criticized for both supporting the civil war in South Africa and helping to build a secret service for the Inkatha Freedom Party.
  • In 2005, the Ministry of the Interior asked the KAS to repay € 240,000 to the federal government because it had used Konrad Adenauer's former Italian holiday residence ( Villa La Collina ) for a number of years. Instead of being used exclusively as an educational facility, the conference center was also used and offered as tourist accommodation. The purchase of the villa in the 1970s was made possible by the Ministry of the Interior with 8.2 million  DM ; by 2005, federal funds were allocated 5.3 million euros. The house was repeatedly offered for sale without success and is still operated today by the KAS as a “memorial of national importance”.
  • In his book Die Spendenmafia , published in 2011, Stefan Loipfinger reports on the waste of money and the considerable subsidization of the CDU-affiliated association with tax money. In particular, grants from the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development were not used for a specific purpose.
  • In 2012, in the course of recruiting 24 positions to be filled by persons with the qualifications of judges, the Federal Ministry of the Interior rejected the criteria for applicant selection that were binding by the Federal Office of Administration . Detached from the binding criteria, from the 470 applicants, those candidates with CDU and CSU party books as well as applicants with connections to the KAS were given priority in the selection of applicants.
  • The KAS temporarily granted journalist Gaby Weber only incomplete access to the files of Hans Globke's archive because it was blocked according to the deposit agreement with the family. Globke's estate is kept in the KAS archive and also contains files and files from Globke's time as State Secretary in the Federal Chancellery . In 2013, a lawsuit before the Administrative Court in Koblenz came to the conclusion that the Federal Archives had no claim to surrender against the owner of the files, even though they were federally owned documents. A constitutional complaint by the journalist against this judgment was dismissed in 2017.


Norbert Lammert Hans-Gert Pöttering Bernhard Vogel (Ministerpräsident) Günter Rinsche Bernhard Vogel (Ministerpräsident) Bruno Heck Alfred Müller-Armack Arnold Bergstraesser Hanns Haberer



The board is elected for two years by the members, whereby only half of the board members have to be members of the association. It consists of the chairman Norbert Lammert , the three deputy chairmen Hermann Gröhe , Hildigund Neubert and Beate Neuss , the treasurer Christoph Brand , the honorary chairman Bernhard Vogel and 16 other members, three of whom are co-opted by the board. In addition, there are currently six permanent guests. The general secretary (currently Michael Thielen ) is elected for four years and is a member of the board in accordance with the statutes.

General meeting

The association has a maximum of 55 members who are elected by the general assembly for three years, whereby re-election is possible. Well-known members include German Chancellor Angela Merkel and several federal and state ministers.

Board of Trustees

The foundation's board of trustees has existed since 1999 and is intended to accompany and support the work of the foundation as an expert committee. The former Austrian Chancellor Wolfgang Schüssel is currently the chairman of the 30-strong body ; other members include Christian Wulff and Jean-Claude Juncker .


In honor of the former NATO Secretary General and Federal Defense Minister Manfred Wörner (CDU), the foundation organizes the Manfred Wörner Memorial Lecture in Berlin, given by personalities such as Javier Solana (1999), George Robertson (2001) and Jaap de Hoop Scheffer (2004 ), all successors in office, and R. Nicholas Burns (2002).

See also

Web links

Commons : Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung  - collection of pictures, videos and audio files


  1. After the election as CDU state chairman in Thuringia, Vogel was not allowed to be chairman of the foundation at the same time, so he let his office rest. The foundation appointed Gerd Langguth to the newly introduced function of executive chairman.

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Mission statement of the Konrad Adenauer Foundation. Retrieved January 25, 2020 .
  2. a b c d e Board of Directors - Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung eV Accessed on January 25, 2020 .
  3. a b The Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung in numbers. kas.de, accessed on January 25, 2020 .
  4. a b c Articles of Association in the version of July 6, 2018 - Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung. Retrieved January 25, 2020 .
  5. a b History of the Konrad Adenauer Foundation. Retrieved January 25, 2020 .
  6. James G. McGann : 2018 Global Go To Think Tank Index Report. (PDF) In: University of Pennsylvania . January 2019, p. 60 , accessed on January 25, 2020 (English).
  7. ^ Political education forums and regional offices. In: kas.de. Retrieved January 25, 2020 .
  8. Villa La Collina - Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung eV Accessed on January 25, 2020 .
  9. ^ A b Michael Lehnberg: Sankt Augustin site: Adenauer Foundation wants to expand its activities in the region. In: General-Anzeiger Bonn . November 13, 2013, accessed January 25, 2020 .
  10. Offices worldwide. kas.de, accessed on February 27, 2018 .
  11. Internet presence of the Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung , accessed on May 18, 2008.
  12. Internet presence of the Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung , accessed on May 18, 2008.
  13. Internet presence of the Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung , accessed on May 18, 2008.
  14. Internet presence of the Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung , accessed on May 18, 2008.
  15. Internet presence of the Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung , accessed on May 18, 2008.
  16. ^ History of the KAS .
  17. ^ History of the SDS on Capital -Online (Bulgarian); accessed on August 6, 2011: ... Същата година подкрепящата СДС немска фондация "Конрад Аденауер" събира лидерите на синия съюз, на Народен съюз и на ДПС в италианското градче Каденабия .
  18. Ecuador's game with Julian Assange . Deutsche Welle , August 19, 2014.
  19. tagesschau.de ( Memento from December 30, 2011 in the Internet Archive )
  20. http://www.tagesschau.de/ausland/aegyptdurchsuchungen112.html ( Memento from February 8, 2012 in the Internet Archive )
  21. Christoph Ehrhardt, Rainer Hermann: Kairo brings charges against German foundation representatives. In: FAZ.net . February 6, 2012, accessed October 13, 2018 .
  22. ^ Penalties against NGO employees: "Serious strain on the German-Egyptian relationship. In: Spiegel Online . Accessed on April 12, 2015 .
  23. ^ Spiegel Online, accessed April 8, 2013 .
  24. Moscow ceases to review the Adenauer Foundation's office . Spiegel Online ; Retrieved April 8, 2013.
  25. Putin defends raids on political foundations . FAZ.net; Retrieved April 8, 2013
  26. KAS office in St. Petersburg again targeted by the public prosecutor's office . Press release of the Konrad Adenauer Foundation from March 26, 2013.
  27. kas.de (PDF)
  28. Internet presence of the Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung , accessed on May 18, 2008.
  29. ^ Corporate Europe Observatory: Covert industry funding fuels the expansion of radical rightwing EU think tanks ( Memento of June 21, 2008 in the Internet Archive ).
  30. Internet presence of the Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung , accessed on May 18, 2008.
  31. ^ Official website of the Anne Frank Peace Days .
  32. Internet presence of the Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung , accessed on May 18, 2008.
  33. ^ Prize “Social Market Economy”. Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung eV, accessed on January 25, 2020 .
  34. ^ Der Tagesspiegel , July 8, 2011. Online edition .
  35. Printed matter 13/2521. German Bundestag, October 5, 1995, accessed on May 16, 2015 .
  36. Millions for Inkatha . In: Der Spiegel . No. 14 , 1994 ( online ).
  37. Foundations: Adenauer Villa used for other purposes . In: Der Spiegel . No. 22 , 2015 ( online ).
  38. ^ Foundations: Where Adenauer played boccia . In: Der Spiegel . No. 1 , 2000 ( online ).
  39. Martin Lutz, Uwe Müller: The cartel of the state plunderers. In: Welt online . October 10, 2014, accessed April 12, 2015 .
  40. ^ Stefan Loipfinger: The donation mafia. Dirty business with our pity. Munich 2011.
  41. Hair-raising personnel policy in the Ministry of the Interior. In: Welt Online . Retrieved April 12, 2015 .
  42. Under lock and key: Top secret files in German archives. 3sat Kulturzeit, accessed on April 12, 2015 .
  43. Süddeutsche Zeitung November 24, 2009
  44. Lammert new chairman of the Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung . Spiegel Online , December 1, 2017, accessed on the same day.
  45. General Assembly - Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung eV Accessed on January 25, 2020 .
  46. Board of Trustees - Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung eV Accessed on January 25, 2020 .