Back to the European Future
If GMF had “frequently asked questions” on its website, the first question would be about its name. As an American institution, GMF was founded in 1972 through a gift from the German government 25 years after the Marshall Plan was promulgated in the United States. GMF's endeavors – scholarships, exchange programs, research, and conferences – strive to spread transatlantic understanding. Karen Donfried, the president of GMF and former advisor to President Barack Obama on European security affairs, stresses GMF’s commitment to organizing and strengthening transatlantic relationships, and continuing to remain both a grant-giving foundation and a research institution. After GMF’s previous initiative to work with future powers such as Asia, Donfried states that GMF is now refocusing on its core European mission. “We are the German Marshall Fund, and the German government believes in our mission.” The outcome of the recent European elections and the debate in the UK has made Americans slowly understand that the integration of the East is not so automatic. “At this moment in history,” says Donfried, “the German Marshall Fund has therefore to play a special role.”
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Andreas Ross is the editor in the political news desk for the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung.