Bertelsmann Foundation

The Bertelsmann Stiftung is a German liberal think tank. According to its founder, Reinhard Mohn, the Foundation " reform process " and " principles of corporate governance " is intended to promote.


The Foundation was founded in 1977 by Reinhard Mohn and indirectly holds 77.6 percent of the shares of Bertelsmann SE & Co. KGaA. 2011, the Foundation 328 employees and is governed by a board, which also belong to representatives of the Bertelsmann family owners poppy:

  • Aart De Geus (Chairman)
  • Jörg Dräger
  • Brigitte Mohn
  • Liz Mohn

Watches the foundation of a Board of Trustees, chaired by Werner J. Bauer ( and Others CEO of Nestlé SA). Other members are:

  • Wolf Bauer
  • Wulf Bernotat
  • Ralph Heck
  • Christoph Mohn
  • Liz Mohn
  • Eduardo Montes
  • Carolina Müller- Mohl
  • Thomas Rauschenbach
  • Rolf Schmidt -Holtz
  • Chancellor
  • Jürgen Stark

The Bertelsmann Foundation is a member of the Federal Association of German Foundations and since 2011 also in the European network movement Germany.

Objectives and Activities

The foundation aims to solve current social problems all areas of life according to the "Principles of entrepreneurship and performance justice" and the motto " as little government as possible," remodel. Competition and civic engagement are an essential basis for social progress.

The Bertelsmann Foundation awards according to its statutes do not offer scholarships and also does not support third-party projects. It operates its own projects that it deems appropriate to further the strategic goals of the founder.

The Foundation sees itself as a reform for a workshop that designed single model tests and implements; secondly, it wants to improve the quality of advice directly to influence policy makers.

In project work, projects are taken up with model action in the fields of education, economy and social affairs, corporate culture, Health, International Relations, Culture and Development Foundation. The mission statement of the Foundation means for the projects that all actors or sectors of society are classified primarily according to power ranks, whether job placement, health care, local government, educational institutions, federal states or states.

Takes over the Centre for Higher Education Development and the project self-employed school and took the Bertelsmann Foundation also influence the formation of policy, on the Centre for Hospital Management on health policy.

The Center for Applied Policy Research (CAP ) was a scientific partner, the Bertelsmann Foundation and by his own account, the largest university- institute of policy advice on European and international issues in Germany. There were the Bertelsmann Group for Policy Research, numerous employees; so was about the former deputy director of the CAP, Josef Janning, also the leader of this research group. The Bertelsmann Foundation maintains workshops, seminars and meetings where they organized meetings between civil servants and politicians and its related experts.

The annually produced since 2004 and often cited in the media location ranking of the Bertelsmann Foundation assessed the economic policies of the major industrialized countries on the basis of the Foundation selected criteria. So she tells about the growth and employment prospects of these countries.

2007 drew the Bertelsmann Foundation and the campaign of " company for the region" corporate citizenship. The aim is to promote private sector initiative and to assume social responsibility. Through the campaign, in addition to the theme of "responsible company " to draw attention to motivate imitators for your own projects.

From 1988 to 2008, the Bertelsmann Foundation awarded also endowed with 150,000 euros Carl Bertelsmann Prize, which was characterized similar to the campaign " company for the region" approaches in social problem areas.

In November 2013 the Foundation Board Jörg Dräger demanded in the Frankfurter Rundschau of federal policy more immigration to Germany and, consequently, a " comprehensive, long-term migration architecture " for Germany. The country needs demographic factors, because of increased global competition for talent and an impending skills shortage " urgent need for more skilled workers from abroad ."

Cooperation partners in schools

Some of the partners are:

Political economy of demands

After the start of the Schröder government, the Foundation published in the journal Capital a list of demands for economic policy the first 100 days of government. Its contents:

  • In the social security it is necessary to abolish the unemployment insurance within ten years and further restrict social assistance. The cuts in social assistance again automatically inferior the associated minimum wage. Decreasing the minimum wage, then this serves to combat unemployment. At the same time it serves to consolidate public finances.
  • The reduction of the remaining wages by 15 percent and the reduction of employment protection would permit companies to hire more workers and employees and thus dampen unemployment.
  • Non-wage labor costs should be entirely transferred from the contractor to the employee in the medium term.

The Foundation claimed that the Federal Republic of Germany will no longer be able after 2010 to pay for pensions, medical expenses or unemployment worn until then Dimensions. The reigning from 1998 to 2005, Chancellor Gerhard Schröder could be, as well as the detaching him 2005 German Chancellor Angela Merkel, frequently on the part of the Foundation's advice. Many of the demands were included in Schröder's Agenda 2010 and were reflected in the ALG II.


  • Doubt has been expressed in many media, the assertion of party political neutrality, for example, in an article in the Tagesspiegel. The political bias of the foundation outside itself in the fact that, especially politicians and officials were involved with liberal economic views in the Foundation's projects. From the left parties would only " market-radical exponents as Oswald Metzger " by the Greens ( since April 2008 Member of the CDU ) for the course, with the Left Party existed no contacts.
  • The foundation also operate by preliminary agreements with politicians across the Parliaments " privatization of politics" ( Böckelmann ). The collaboration with ministries and politicians follow the principle of mutual exploitation: Officials and politicians received a protected space where they would receive free and exclusive and could discuss, while the Foundation, for access to all the projects that would influence them safe. As a result, it is the same, who am elected, somehow rule the Bertelsmann Foundation always. The former SPD politician Albrecht Müller calls it " an anti- democratic institution ".
  • Your country ranking is scientifically unfounded and fully in accordance with " the canon of neo-liberal reforms ," the Lobby Control Initiative. A " high proportion of government expenditure to GDP is just as negative in the standings as high taxes and fees. Evaluated positively, however, are wage restraint, part-time jobs and a low strike rate. Questions of distributive justice, the quality of living and working conditions were not considered. " For the negative influence of a high government expenditure ratio as the ranking subordinate to him, lacking any empirical evidence. In fact applies in economics is not primarily the level of government -ratio as decisive, but the question of what the state 's share of GDP using the "simple kind of ideological mediation " as they do everything in the country ranking was " typical of the radical neo-liberal economic policies of Bertelsmann, "said Frank Böckelmann, one of the authors of a book about the Foundation.
  • A " power without mandate " provides for the daily newspaper Tagesspiegel in the foundation. Democratically legitimized power in the state will be more and more pushed back by economic power, and even some already replaced, Wolfgang Lieb criticized the " civic engagement " by the Bertelsmann Foundation. For private networks and Souffleuren of power would actual rulers. Thus, a private institutional power of wealth have since evolved into the strictly hierarchical organized their influence across the political system extending the scope and wander the distribution of power between parties, parliaments and executive and simultaneously shaped the public opinion. This type of civil society befördere not only the existing anyway material inequality between rich and poor, but this way close - other than that in the model of majority rule is provided in a democracy - especially the vast majority of less affluent population more and more of the political participation and the design of their social future. " The timocracy - a rule of the haves - solves the democracy from ," says Lieb.
  • The " parallel government in Gütersloh " housekeepers de facto with public money because the Bertelsmann owner poppy have been saving inheritance tax or gift through the transfer of three-quarters of the share capital to the Foundation over two billion euros and the annual dividend payment to the Foundation's tax-exempt be. As such, they give with its annual budget of around 60 million euros not nearly as much from how they would cost the Treasury. The sociologist and international foundation researcher Frank Adloff calls it an untenable situation that the Foundation before any parliament or the Court itself would justify the use of these funds. In the U.S., tax-exempt foundations should not hold more than 20 percent of a company to avoid potential conflicts of interest. In addition, they would have to settle their issues publicly. Recently has an expertise of independent lawyers who ff AO examined the " profit " of the foundation within the meaning of § § 52, shows that the conditions of tax-advantaged charitable Bertelsmann Foundation no longer were available. Rather, the exemption related 'll unjustified availed for the purpose of public discourse in the constitutional organs to carry out a reorganization of the community according to the ideas of its founder, Reinhard Mohn by tax-financed private policy advice bypassing democratic decision-making.
  • LobbyControl sees them as business-related PR initiative, similar to the Initiative for a New Social Market Economy ( INSM) or the Market Economy Foundation, especially as personal connections with the INSM exist.
  • Through their public proposals, the Bertelsmann Foundation creates an artificial demand, particularly with regard to the allegedly necessary streamlining of local government, which they themselves, for example through its subsidiary arvato satisfy. The release of their messages served her the Bertelsmann group belonging TV channels RTL and VOX and numerous magazines from Gruner Jahr. Also at the mirror Bertelsmann is involved.
  • Thomas Schuler, in his book Bertelsmann Republic of Germany - a foundation makes policy. the profit of the Foundation in question and criticized the German Foundation Law which foundations such as the Bertelsmann Foundation authorizes all. The expert for Foundation Law Peter Rawert commented:

" On an investment whose market value is more than ten billion euros according to most conservative estimates, the Foundation is [ pa in the form of a 72 million euro allocation ] a return granted, which should be less today, even, than you in with an investment fixed deposit could generate. In the United States, the Bertelsmann Foundation's acclaimed experts like Dorado, such results would have negative consequences for the tax profit. And what would be, would the efficiency standards by the Foundation - transfer are applied to others, to their own asset management " - as in the Hochschulpolitk?

  • The Bertelsmann Foundation created concepts for the redesign of the health system, which includes a favored group- owned hospitals and health care centers to the detriment freelance doctors. Board member Brigitte Mohn is on the board of Rhön- Klinikum AG, which is why this regard neutrality of the Foundation is questioned.
  • Josef Kraus, president of the German Teachers' Association, criticized in December 2012, the so-called studies of the Foundation as unscientific and as a " doomsday scenarios ". " The impulses of the foundation to build [ ... ] almost always on the scandal of any alleged maladministration on. " Kraus called on the policy to be rid of the influence of the foundation and to take the criticism of the Foundation seriously.
  • In connection with Brigitte Mohn doctorate, which she gained at the University of Witten / Herdecke, the suspicion arose, the title had been bought, among other things, because her doctor father and chief expert Josef Maria Häussling on after his retirement with a paid by the Foundation Advisory Agreement the University has been equipped.