60 years of international work
Prof. Dr. Norbert Lammert on the international work by Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung
“No other political foundation has been working with so many partners in so many countries for so long as we have.”
(Video only in German)
First international projects in the shadow of the Cold War
Our long-standing and diverse international engagement began in the 1960s. In the early years, the focus of international work was laid on the cooperation with Christian trade unions in Latin America. In Asia, the Vietnam War determined the development of an entire region. In view of this political situation, KAS could only cautiously stretch out its feelers. Also here, the cooperation with Christian trade unions laid the foundation for further projects in the Philippines.
Adventure Abroad - How Political Foundation Work Started in the 1960s
Josef Thesing discovered Guatemala on horseback in 1966. He remembers his pioneering work far from home in a time before fax machines.
(Audio only in German)
In 1979, the first contacts were established in the People’s Republic of China. Despite difficult conditions, KAS also took the big step to Africa: the Foundation celebrated its first two office openings in Cameroon and Tanzania. On the continent, where the colonial era had largely just ended, there were high expectations from the national independence movements that, however, could only rarely be fulfilled.
The 1970s and 1980s were characterised by a geographical expansion of work in Europe and North America. The central goal was expanding the Transatlantic Community of Values, and thus, intensifying relations between EU and NATO partners.
The fall of the Iron Curtain brought an entire range of new opportunities for the Foundation’s work. In the ten countries of Central, Eastern and South-Eastern Europe that have joined the EU, the Foundation has helped them to overcome the hurdles on the way to EU accession by providing political advice and educational work.
Together against global challenges
In the meantime, our worldwide network has grown to 110 offices in more than 80 countries on all continents. Development policy issues can no longer be viewed in isolation from issues of foreign and security policy, economic policy, or environmental policy.
In conversation with Dr Gerhard Wahlers
Today, KAS is represented in over 100 countries. In this interview with Dr Gerhard Wahlers, we talk about the development and challenges of the Foundation’s international work.
(Video only in German)
In the third decade of the 21st century, the corona pandemic has shown how closely interconnected the world is and that pressing issues of our time can only be solved collectively. Climate change, ongoing migration movements, failing states, internationally active terrorists, resource conflicts and, unfortunately, after decades of peace, acts of war on European soil make cross-border cooperation and multilateralism more important than ever before.
The world today is fundamentally different from 60 years ago. The task of implementing a political, social, and economic order oriented towards human dignity in all parts of the world has remained, even if it is being performed in ever new forms.
Shaping democracy together!
Democratic progress today faces several challenges. We wish to contribute to building and maintaining a safe society through our international work.
In our events at home and abroad, we address the pressing issues of the future.