Statutes of Stiftung Wissenschaft und Politik (Berlin)

As of: 9 June 2016

Only the German version is valid for legal purposes, English provided for information only.

Table of Contents


§ 1

Name, Legal Form, Domicile

The Foundation is named “Stiftung Wissenschaft und Politik”. It is a foundation with legal capacity under the German Civil Code. It is domiciled in Berlin.


§ 2


  1. The purpose of the Foundation is to conduct scholarly research in the fields of international politics and foreign and security policy, in consultation with the German Bundestag and the German government, with the objective of providing independent research-based policy advice and publishing the findings where appropriate.

  2. The Foundation exclusively and directly pursues non-profit objectives as defined in the section on “tax-privileged purposes” in the German Tax Code. It pursues no profit-making objectives of its own.

  3. To fulfil its purpose the Foundation maintains a research institute named “Deutsches Institut für Internationale Politik und Sicherheit” (“the Institute” in the following), and may maintain other research institutions. In pursuit of its objectives the Institute collaborates with German and foreign scientific, political, business and cultural institutions. Insofar as the Foundation’s resources permit, relevant third-party research projects are supported as appropriate. Cooperation or association agreements may be concluded with other research and documentation organisations working in any of the fields listed in sub-section (1), or related fields.


§ 3

Assets and Income

  1. The Foundation’s endowment capital is EUR 51,273.88 as of 1 January 2000.

  2. The endowment is preserved and kept separate from other assets. Only the following may be used to fulfil the purpose of the Foundation:

    1. Endowment income,
    2. Other income,
    3. Other assets as per 1. (above),
    4. Financial allocations from the German government and other sources, unless designated to increase the endowment.


  3. The Foundation may set aside reserves within the scope of the tax laws.

  4. The Foundation’s funds may only be used for the Foundation’s purpose. It may not benefit any natural or legal person by disproportionate remuneration.


§ 4


The organs of the Foundation are the Council and the Board.


§ 5


  1. The Council comprises a President, two Deputy Presidents, one of whom is the Head of the Federal Chancellery, members nominated by the parliamentary groups in the Bundestag, members nominated by the Head of the Federal Chancellery, and leading academics, businesspeople and public figures. All members of the Council serve in an honorary capacity; necessary expenses are reimbursed.

  2. With the exception of those who serve as leading academics, businesspeople or public figures belonging neither to the Bundestag nor to the government, members of the Council serve a two-year term that is extended by a further two years unless:

    1. At the request of at least two members, the Council decides by a twothirds majority of its members not to extend the term of a member, or
    2. A parliamentary group in the German Bundestag or the Head of the Federal Chancellery nominates a successor to a member that it, he or she appointed.

    Membership of the Council expires if the parliamentary group that nominated the member ceases to exist. Members elected in the category of leading academics, businesspeople or public figures belonging neither to the Bundestag nor to the government serve a five-year term. A single five-year extension is permitted by election.


  3. If an elected member resigns from the Council a by-election is held, except in the case of sub-section (2) 3. If a new parliamentary group is established in the German Bundestag a by-election is held. The following have the right to nominate candidates for by-elections:

    1. Members of the Council nominate candidates for the posts of President and the Deputy President who is not Head of the Federal Chancellery, and at least seven other members, all of whom are leading academics, businesspeople or public figures and belong neither to the Bundestag nor to the government,
    2. Each parliamentary group in the German Bundestag nominates one candidate for election to the Council,
    3. The Head of the Federal Chancellery nominates at least seven candidates for election to the Council; the number shall be no less than the number of parliamentary groups in the German Bundestag.

    The number of other members under § 5(3) a) is equal to the number of members under § 5(3) c). A two-thirds majority of members of the Council is required for election of members.


  4. The Council:

    1. Appoints the Board of the Foundation, the Director of the Institute and – at the proposal of the Director – the Institute’s Deputy Director and Director of Research;
    2. Advises and supervises the Board, approves the Annual Report and formally approves the actions of the members of the Board;
    3. Decides, in consultation with the Board, about the development of the Institute and any other institutions run by the Foundation;
    4. May appoint consultative committees from among its members (e.g. programme committee, administrative committee);
    5. Establishes the Rules of Procedure.

  5. The following internal matters require the approval of the Council:

    1. Staff appointments and promotions outside regular salary grades;
    2. The Budget and any transactions that are

      1. not approved in the Budget, or
      2. not in the scope of day-to-day business, or
      3. place the Foundation under obligations extending beyond the current financial year;

    3. Loans, guarantees, indemnity contracts;
    4. Contracts concerning real property and equivalent rights;
    5. The Institute’s biennial orientation framework.


  6. The Council is convened by the President as required, at least once per year. The President invites all members in writing, including the agenda for the meeting. Amendments to the agenda are decided by simple majority of the Council; amendments to the agenda to introduce amendments to the statutes under § 9 (1) are excluded. Board members participate in the meetings of the Council in a consultative capacity. Minutes of the meeting are taken, and signed by the chair of the meeting. Resolutions are recorded verbatim.

  7. The Council decides by simple majority of votes cast unless specified otherwise in the Statutes. The Council is quorate if more than half of its members are present, or if more than half of its members participate in the case of a vote in writing. A member may transfer his or her voting rights to another member of the Council. The President must be informed in writing of proxy voting rights no later than two weeks before the meeting in question. Proxy voting is permitted only within the respective member categories defined in § 5 (3) a) to c). The Council is competent to make decisions if at least two thirds of its positions are occupied.

  8. A resolution may be adopted in writing if written process is instructed by the President, or at the request of the Board or of at least three Council members. Council members must be given at least three weeks to cast their vote. A resolution adopted in writing that conforms to the quorum and majority stipulated in the Statutes is considered valid if no member lodges an objection with the President within three weeks of completion of the voting procedure. If an objection is lodged the decision is postponed until the next Council meeting. The objection clause does not apply to elections to the Council by vote in writing.


§ 6

Research Advisory Board

For the purpose of obtaining expertise for the Foundation’s research projects the Council may, in consultation with the Board, appoint a Research Advisory Board. Further details are governed as required by the Foundation’s Rules of Procedure.


§ 7


  1. The Board comprises a Chair, a Deputy Chair and one other member. Board members are appointed by two-thirds majority of members of the Council, and may be dismissed for good cause. The Chair is the Director of the Institute. The Chair’s term of office is set by the Council. The term of office of the other members is two years. Reappointment is permitted. If a Board position becomes vacant prematurely a new member is appointed by the same procedure to serve the remaining term.

  2. No Board member may be a member of the Council. Board members serve in an honorary capacity; necessary expenses are reimbursed.

  3. The Board:

    1. Conducts the business of the Foundation according to the Rules of Procedure and the decisions of the Council;
    2. Administers the endowment and decides, subject to the authority of the Council, all matters that serve the fulfilment of the Foundation’s purpose;
    3. Verifies the orientation framework and presents it to the Council for approval;
    4. Prepares the Budget (§ 8 (1)) and the Annual Report (§ 8 (2));
    5. Has the Annual Report audited by an auditor or auditing firm. The audit assignment must include the preservation of the endowment, the proper use of endowment and other income, and the preparation of an auditor’s report as per § 8 (2) of the Berlin Foundations Act.


  4. The Board represents the Foundation in and out of court through any two of its members.

  5. The Board is quorate if two of its members are present. Decisions are made by majority of votes cast. In the case of a tie the Chair has the casting vote. In the case of a vote in writing unanimous agreement of all members of the Board is required.

  6. Meetings of the Board are to be held at least biannually. Minutes of the meeting are taken, and signed by the Chair. Resolutions are recorded verbatim.


§ 8

Budget, Annual Report

  1. A Budget is prepared in advance for each financial year, taking into consideration the research programme. The financial year is the calendar year. The Budget must contain all expected revenues and expenditures; expenditure must not exceed the income that can be expected with certainty. Expenditure for funding special projects must not exceed the revenues secured by contracts or grant approvals.

  2. Within three months of the end of the financial year the Board presents to the Council an Annual Report comprising an activity report and a financial report.


§ 9

Amendments to the Statutes, Dissolution, Merger, Disposal of Assets

  1. Amendments to the Statutes require at least a two-thirds majority of members of the Council; amendments to the purpose of the Foundation, dissolution or merger with another foundation require a three-quarters majority. All decisions concerning amendments to the Statutes, dissolution or merger must be made at a meeting of the Council and require the approval of the oversight authority. Applying for said approval is the responsibility of the Board.

  2. In the case of dissolution of the Foundation or loss of tax-privileged status, the assets of the Foundation fall to the Federal Republic of Germany, to be used directly and exclusively for non-profit scholarly purposes.


§ 10

State Oversight

The Foundation is subject to state oversight under the Berlin Foundations Act.


§ 11


The Statutes take effect as of 1 January 2001 with the approval of the Government of Upper Bavaria. Last amended as of 9 June 2016.

Essen, 9 June 2016

For the Council:
Prof. Dr.-Ing. Hans-Peter Keitel

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