- Net Assets: $166,340,141 (2016)
- Grants Received: $17,715,121 (2016)
- Grants Awarded: $4,189,844 (2016)
The German Marshall Fund of the United States (GMF) describes itself as a “non-partisan American public policy and grantmaking institution dedicated to promoting better understanding and cooperation between North America and Europe on transatlantic and global issues.” GMF was established in 1972 by the government of Germany, as an expression of that nation’s gratitude for the assistance it had received via America’s Marshall Plan in the aftermath of WWII. The German government renewed its commitment to GMF with subsequent rounds of funding in 1986 and 2001.
GMF pursues its agendas chiefly by giving financial support to individuals and institutions working in the transatlantic sphere; providing venues where business leaders and policymakers can convene; and publishing research and analysis on transatlantic topics. The Fund focuses on several major issues areas:
* Aid & Development: GMF contends that “many [people] in developing countries” suffer “alienation and despair” because they have been “left behind by global economic integration” (i.e., globalization). Thus it is “in the best interests of the transatlantic community,” the Fund advises, to pursue redistributive economic policies that “will spread the benefits of global economic growth far and wide.”
* Economics, Trade & Investment: According to GMF, “The transatlantic partners need to … work towards shared economic objectives in order to implement policies that will lead to long-term … growth of the transatlantic economy.”
* Climate & Energy: Asserting that anthropogenic “climate change is a diffuse global challenge” that “poses a serious threat to many of the world’s ecosystems and marginalized populations,” GMF exhorts nations on both sides of the Atlantic to make a “coordinated,” swift “transition to a low-carbon economy.”
* Immigration & Integration: While lauding immigration as a conduit for the import of “talent, development, much-needed labor … and cultural and economic diversity,” GMF acknowledges that illegal immigration “undermines [the] rule of law” and “may … affect social cohesion and place strain on state services.” Nonetheless, the Fund expresses concern for the “international human rights” of illegals, urging Europeans and North Americans alike to “grapple with these trade-offs.”
* Security & Defense: GMF focuses on these issues through roundtable discussions, targeted grants, and the publication of policy briefs, articles, and op-eds. It is also a member of the Peace and Security Funders Group.
* Cities & Urban Issues: GMF says that during the next century in North America and Europe, “the metropolitan built environment, its impact on the natural environment, and the resources available to citizens will be crucial for successfully meeting the complex challenges facing the transatlantic community.”
* Democracy & Civil Society: GMF works “to help strengthen the democracies of Central and Eastern Europe” by means of such programs as its Black Sea Trust for Regional Cooperation, the Balkan Trust for Democracy, and the Commission on the Black Sea.
* Foreign & Transatlantic Relations: In an effort to “find opportunities for greater cooperation and policy integration,” GMF promotes dialogue on global issues impacting Europe and North America.
One of GMF’s signature programs is its Urban & Regional Policy initiative, which conducts research on how American and European societies may share problem-solving techniques which they have found to be effective.
Another GMF program, the Brussels Forum, is an annual high-level meeting where influential North American and European political, corporate, and intellectual leaders gather to discuss pressing challenges which their respective societies face.
Through its “G20 in the Global Economy” program, GMF seeks to promote a “new, more global policy environment” that “transcend[s] traditional North-South divides on economic issues”; addresses “challenges related to global imbalances”; advocates “the reform of the global financial institutions”; and advances “the re-working of the global economic governance structure.” The Fund publishes its “Global Economy” proposals in its G20 Paper Series briefs.
Each year, GMF produces two public-opinion surveys on an array of vital issues and then disseminates the results to policymakers, academics, and journalists. One of these surveys, titled Transatlantic Trends, focuses on attitudes regarding politics, foreign policy, and current events among people in the United States and twelve European countries. The other major survey, Transatlantic Trends: Immigration, examines public attitudes and policy preferences related to immigration in Europe, Canada, and the U.S.
GMF enjoys the support of approximately 70 “partners” – consisting of charitable foundations, large corporations, and international government agencies – that have made financial contributions to the Fund. Among these partners are the Bank of America Foundation, the Rockefeller Brothers Fund, the Surdna Foundation, the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency, and the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation.
For additional information on GMF, click here.