In order to fulfil its purpose as defined in the Statutes, SWP receives a grant approved by the German Bundestag under the budget of the Federal Chancellery (Kap. 0410 Tit. 685 11). The grant is awarded on the basis of an annual budget prepared by SWP.
SWP's government grant
2015 € 12.5 million
2016 € 12.3 million
2017 € 13.8 million
2018 € 13.7 million
2019 € 15.5 million
2020 € 15.9 million
In the 2020 financial year the grant covered personnel costs of €11.55 million (73 percent) and operating costs of €4.28 million (27 percent). The operating costs comprised 38 percent building rental (€1.58 million) rent and 62 percent other operating costs (€2.60 million).
The government grant covers 100 percent of SWP’s core activities, and SWP is required to manage its finances according to public-sector regulations. Thus despite possessing a private legal form, SWP operates exclusively under public regulations, in particular the Federal Budget Code (BHO), the public-sector pay agreement (TVöD), the Travel Expenses Act (BRKG) and public procurement law.
The Board presents an annual report comprising an activity report and a financial report (annual accounts and balance sheet) to the Council.
The Board has the annual report audited by an auditor or auditing firm. The audit 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.
The Board also provides the auditor's report to the oversight authority as required under § 8 of the Berlin Foundations Act.
The annual report serves as proof of use of the government grant. The Federal Chancellery is responsible for verification.
In addition to its government grant, SWP may acquire external funding for special research projects from the public sector or other external sources. The funds acquired in this way should not exceed 25 percent of the government grant.
Acquisition of external funding for a particular project is driven first and foremost by the interest of an individual researcher or the Institute as a whole in furthering existing research and advisory activities. The decisive criteria are scientific rigour, independence and relevance.
The SWP is politically independent in its research projects and publications, and defines its own research agenda. The Bundestag and German government have always supported this principle, and the German Council of Science and Humanities has underlined the value of independent scientific research. SWP therefore does not accept any research commissions
2015 € 2.15 million
2016 € 2.32 million
2017 € 2.21 million
2018 € 2.09 million
2019 € 2.72 million
2020 € 3.16 million
For further detail on sources of external funding, please see:
For details of funded projects please see:
In June 2016, SWP has received the maximum possible five-star rating by Transparify for the second time, reflecting its exemplary transparency when it comes to publicly disclosing its sources of funding. For the Transparify-Report 2016, 200 think tanks have been examined, 41 have been rated »highly transparent«. According to the report, SWP is the most transparent think tank in Germany and one of the most transparent ones worldwide.