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 our international work lay on the cooperation with Christian trade unions in Latin America. In Asia, the Vietnam War shaped the development of an entire region. In view of this political situation, KAS could only cautiously stretch out its feelers. In South-East Asia, too, 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)
Despite challenging conditions, KAS also made its first steps in Africa, when the Foundation celebrated its first two office openings in Cameroon and Tanzania. On the continent, where the colonial era had for the most part only just ended, high hopes where centred on the national independence movements. These, however, could only rarely be fulfilled.
The 1970s and 1980s were characterised by a geographical expansion of our 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 a whole range of new opportunities for the Foundation’s work in South-Eastern Europe. The Foundation has helped the ten countries of Central and Eastern Europe that have joined the EU overcome the hurdles on the way to EU accession by providing political advice and educational assistance.
Facing global challenges together
In the meantime, our worldwide network has grown to more than 100 offices in over 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 COVID pandemic has shown how closely interconnected the world is and that the vital issues of our day can only be tackled through collective action. Climate change, international terrorism, ongoing migration movements, failing states, resource conflicts and, unfortunately, after decades of peace, a war on European soil, make cross-border cooperation and multilateralism more important today than ever before.
The world today is fundamentally different from that of 60 years ago. The task of developing a political, social, and economic order based on human dignity in all parts of the world remains, even if it is being advanced 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 national and international work we address these pressing issues that will define our future.