Deutsch-Französisches Institut

Getting to know each other better for shared responsibility in Europe

We firmly believe that permanent peace can only be achieved through dialogue and cooperation.

Over 75 years of peace in central Europe is the proof of this. 

The Deutsch-Französisches Institut (dfi) is an independent organization devoted to research on and documentation of contemporary France and Franco-German relations within the European context. As a platform for dialogue between decision-makers in both countries, it has been supporting and shaping Franco-German cooperation in politics, the economy and society for 75 years. 

The dfi combines practice-relevant research with the targeted support of cross-border exchange of information and experience, thus creating the basis for an open dialogue and constructive cooperation between the two countries in the European context 

Actuality and analysis

We analyse current developments, taking into account the respective national perspective. Our aim is to provide a picture of the situation in France to a German audience in as differentiated a manner as possible, and conversely the situation in Germany to a French audience. Thanks to our experience, expertise and contacts, we can analyse the situation in France and the state of Franco-German relations rapidly and reliably. 

We help to ensure that mutual perception between France and Germany is not stuck in stereotypical images resulting from 

  • One-sided information 
  • Biased perception 
  • Hasty judgement 

The mutual perception between the French and Germans is always in peril of becoming stuck in stereotypical images through one-sided information, biased perception and hasty judgement.

“The Deutsch-Französisches Institut was always the avant-garde among those committed to better mutual understanding”

Jacques Delors
in Ludwigsburg, 1988 


Journalists are among our most important target groups. Thanks to many years of experience in working with the media, we are able offer professionally well-prepared study trips where journalists gain direct access to personalities in the respective country. Here, too, political neutrality is a feature of our work. 

Research and practice

The dfi, which is an independent research institute, addresses political, economic and social issues. It contributes to the academic debate through its own series, journal articles and book publications. In doing so, we contribute to current debate in Germany, France and Europe.  In our understanding, research also means considering the practical use of our work. 
Among those benefitting from the results of our research are 
•    Academics and students 
•    Administration and politics 
•    Societal actors 

Although we are a relatively small organization, we often work with partners from universities, think tanks and foundations in France and Germany.

As a non-university research institute, we address current issues in politics, the economy and society. Through our publications and talks, we contribute to the academic debate. 


Academic books, conference proceedings on current topics, short analyses or policy papers. In recent years, we have added video formats, in which noted personalities discuss relevant topics with the dfi. 

Our publications

The dfi as an adviser

International cooperation has to be learned – Franco-German cooperation, too. The depth and width of the Franco-German relationship distinguish it from relations with other countries. Franco-German relations are a task for politics, business, administration and above all for civil society. With many years of experience, we can support project partners from all these fields in cooperation projects. We pass on practical experience, advise on the implementation of projects and impart theoretical and practical knowledge. 

We offer 

  • Teaching assignments 
  • Intercultural team-building 
  • Study trips 
  • Individual coaching 

International cooperation has to be learned – this applies to Franco-German cooperation, too. With many years of experience, we can support project partners from diverse fields. 

“The Franco-German friendship is the best example of how decades of conflict and animosity can be overcome. But it needs the political will to do so” 

Angela Merkel
in Ludwigsburg, 2012 

Dfi as a platform

For decades, the dfi has been a platform for influencing the dialogue between the French and Germans 

Thanks to us, representatives 

  • From trade unions and employers 
  • From administrations 
  • From politics and society 
  • Of students and teachers 

have begun a dialogue with one another.

Franco–German relations are special. Other European partners can profit from the experience of cooperation. 

Cooperation with the press

Through reporting, the media influence the perception of the other country. This is why we 

  • Give interviews 
  • Publish commentaries on current issues 
  • Are available to journalists for background talks 

Imparting a better knowledge of the other country, providing reliable information about each other, fostering understanding for the respective national perspectives: This is where our work comes in. 

With a high media exposure (on average 200 mentions annually), we contribute to political and social debate. 

Annual reports

language selection
Icon Briefumschlag

Relations transnationales non gouvernementales