Study Groups and Discussion Groups

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  1. Glossary

Since its founding in 1955, the German Council on Foreign Relations (DGAP) has been committed to fostering impactful foreign and security policy at the German and European level that promotes democracy, peace, and the rule of law.

On behalf of and with funding from Germany’s Federal Foreign Office, DGAP’s Research Institute organizes study groups and discussion groups on various policy areas. These groups bring members of the German Bundestag together with high-ranking representatives from ministries, business, academia, and civil society in a confidential setting around four times a year.

The study groups are designed to collectively assess specific issues and formulate recommendations. Although their agendas follow the current developments in each policy field, they also address long-term issues. The intense discussions that take place in these fora aim to assess strategic issues concerning the positions of Germany and Europe in the world while also developing concrete approaches to solutions. Members are provided with minutes that pointedly summarize the substantive results of these discussions while maintaining confidentiality.

The analyses of the study groups enrich the decision-making processes between the executive and legislative branches of Germany’s federal government. These groups also offer an unparalleled platform for deepening networks across sectors – for example, among politicians and academics – and strengthening the foreign policy community.

European Policy

The “European Policy Study Group” assesses long-term European policy trends and strategies, and it monitors current situations in which decisions are being made. The group deals with developments within Europe, the EU’s capacity to act both internally and externally in various policy areas, and the priorities of German European policy.

Strategic Issues

The “Strategic Issues Study Group” addresses trends in international security policy. Its sessions cover new security threats and challenges, developments in security organizations, and conflicts and instabilities. Currently, this group mainly deals with topics that also allow for processes to be analyzed in the context of the changing international order.

Global Challenges

Having undergone a reorganization in 2022, the “Study Group on Global Challenges” will now address one current issue for a defined length of time. In its confidential discussions in 2022/2023, the study group will deal with feminist foreign policy, focusing on developing and implementing solution-oriented recommendations for action. 

Globalization and the World Economy

The “Study Group Globalization and the World Economy” deals with economic issues in foreign policy and international relations. Its focus is on European trade policy, regional and multilateral trade relations, and megatrends in global economic development.

Discussion Group France

The “Discussion Group France/French-German Relations” not only promotes strategic discussions on issues related to France and Franco-German cooperation, but also accompanies them with policy recommendations. Topics include France’s European and foreign policy, the domestic politics of Germany as France’s neighbor, and Franco-German relations in the European context




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