Hanns Seidel Foundation
The Hanns Seidel Foundation is, according to David Teacher, "an important group in international parapolitical manipulation" and notes that "active in Latin America for the Contras, supporting Mobuto in Zaire, involved in the Fiji coup in 1987, it was caught diverting state development aid from Germany into right-wing party coffers in Ecuador in the same year." Its Wildbad Kreuth center has been the venue for several Le Cercle meetings.
The number of members of the association is limited by statute to a maximum of 40 people.
Dieter A. Schmidt was foreign policy director of the Institute for Foreign Relations at the Hanns Seidel Foundation throughout the 1980s and 1990s until his death in 1999. He also attended Le Cercle; as did Fritz Pirkl, the Chairman 1967–1993.
As of March 2010, the Foundation was a supporter of the think tank Security and Defence Agenda.
The Hanns Seidel Foundation is divided into six specialist departments and the Central Tasks department with several groups. In addition to the Banz Monastery Education Center, the Munich Conference Center at the Foundation's headquarters and representative offices in Berlin, Brussels, Athens, Washington and Moscow, it also has around 50 foreign offices.
- The Academy for Politics and Current Affairs provides practical policy advice. It develops the basis for political decision-making and also conducts conferences and expert meetings. Attached to the academy is the archive for Christian-Social Policy, which serves as the central archive of the CSU as well as persons and institutions close to the party.
- The Institute for Political Education (formerly: Bildungswerk) promotes democratic and civic education in broad sections of the population. By organizing seminars and conferences in Kloster Banz Education Center, in Munich as well as decentralized throughout Bavaria, it intends to increase the political participation of citizens and empower to help shape "the free, democratic constitutional state". This applies in particular to local politicians who can acquire the “tools” for their voluntary mandate in seminars.
- The Institute for the Promotion of Talented Students awards scholarships from state funds to students and doctoral candidates at German universities who are talented and at the same time socially committed and personally suitable. In addition, a program to promote young journalists (JNF) is offered. The foundation is also a member of MedienCampus Bayern, the Bavarian umbrella organization for media education and training. The foundation operates a fully equipped, modern radio and television studio at Kloster Banz.
- The Institute for International Cooperation (IIZ) controls development cooperation projects. The work focuses on strengthening civil society, overcoming social and ethnic tensions, decentralization, promoting the rule of law and good governance, promoting women and exchange on development policy in Germany.
Today, the IIZ oversees around 80 projects in the regions of North Africa, the Near and Middle East, Africa south of the Sahara, Latin America, South Asia, Southeast Asia and China/Mongolia. In 2019, more than 245,000 participants took part in over 5,000 events in the field of development policy.
The Institute for European and Transatlantic Dialogue is responsible for the international contacts of the Hanns Seidel Foundation to the USA, Canada, Russia, Western, Central and Southeastern Europe, as well as to NATO and the EU. The focus of the work is the maintenance of international relations at bilateral and multilateral level and the expansion and deepening of contacts with governments, parliaments and civil society organizations. Particular attention is paid to the transatlantic dialogue and European integration.
- 1967–1993: Fritz Pirkl
- 1994–2004: Alfred Bayer
- 2004–2014: Hans Zehetmair
- 2014–2019: Ursula Männle
- seit 2020: Markus Ferber
|The Philippines||“1995, Catholics for a Free Choice, 'Opus Dei: The Pope's Right Arm in Europe': "The Hanns-Seidel Foundation, based in Germany, is accredited with and receives funding from the European Union. The foundation is linked with the CSU (the Bavarian Christian Democrat) party of the late Fritz Pirkl, who was in the European Parliament and served on the boards of directors of Hanns-Seidel and the Rhine-Danube Foundation. Together with Limmat, Hanns-Seidel has funded Opus Dei’s extensive operations in the Philippines, including the Centre for Research and Communication. The centre’s "self-declared task is to form the future economic and political elite of the country," writes Opus Dei critic Peter Hertel. "Under President Corazon Aquino, Opus members have put a decisive stamp on the country’s Constitution."”||Joël van der Reijden|
|Le Cercle/1979 (Wildbad Kreuth)||First half of 1979|
|Le Cercle/1982 (Wildbad Kreuth)|
4 of the 35 of the members already have pages here:
|Fritz Pirkl||Cercle visitor, Hanns Seidel Foundation/Chair 1967-93|
|Markus Söder||Bavarian politician first out with hard lockdowns in 2020. "The CIA's dream candidate".|