Non-State Actors and Local Authorities in Development

A new approach to poverty reduction in Moldova - combined efforts of NGOs and local authorities

The Gustav Stresemann Institut e.V. - GSI - European Academy Bonn was founded and started its activities in 1959.

The history of GSI began in 1951 with the foundation of the International Youth Secretariat of the European Movement with the aim to encourage the youth of Europe to actively take part in the building of a democratic and peaceful Europe. National Secretariats are opened in all democratic states of Western Europe.

In 1959 the German Secretariat became an independent institute for trans-national education and European co-operation. The new Institute was given the name of Gustav Stresemann Institute (GSI) to honour the achievements of the statesman and Peace Nobel Prize winner Gustav Stresemann.

In 1961 the GSI moved into its own building with conference and accommodation facilities near Bergisch-Gladbach. This centre was extended over the next years and became well-known as a leading educational centre under the name European Academy Lerbach.

In 1987 the new and larger conference centre in Bonn was inaugurated ( The European conference and educational centre of GSI in Bonn is an independent, non-party and non-profit institution of political education. In this capacity and accredited by the state North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW), the GSI with annually 1.600 seminars followed by 50.000 participants from all the world, is the biggest outside-school-training-institute in NRW.

The aims of the GSI educational work are to prepare people of all age groups for the challenges of the knowledge society in the 21st century through a wide range of learning programmes, to promote European integration and enlargement as well as international co-operation, to bring together people of different professional, educational and social background from Germany, Europe and other continents, to initiate constructive exchange of opinion and critical dialogue and to improve critical opinion-building and strengthen a democratic sense of responsibility.

Currently the GSI educational programme includes:

  • European policies
  • Deepening European integration: the economic and monetary union
  • Perspectives of a common European security policy, the EU basic rights
  • European enlargement: prerequisites in the Union and the applicant states
  • The role of Europe in global politics of the 21st century
  • New aspects of international politics and co-operation
  • Training programmes for German Air Force preparing them for international peace missions, and seminars for OSCE and UN mission personnel to prepare experts for their missions to conflict regions.
  • Development policies/North-South policies
  • West-East co-operation in management, capacity building, strengthening of local authorities and civil society organisations
  • Current economic and social issues such as structural change, reform of the welfare state, information and media society, multi-cultural co-operation, genetic engineering, migration etc.
  • Law and politics
  • Xenophobia, right-wing extremism and violence
  • Bilateral human relations, in particular of young people and teenagers
  • Vocational training and qualification
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