What We Do

Europe and Its Neighbors


Our Goal

We pay particular attention to Europe’s relations with its neighboring countries and want to contribute to the dialogue about shared values and interests.


Europe is facing special challenges at its borders and when it comes to its relationships with its neighbors. The current crisis in Ukraine makes clear that the rules and values that we associate with Europe are not inviolable: Russia has disregarded the principles of freedom and democracy, the rule of law, and peoples’ right of self-determination. The EU’s southern neighborhood – the Mediterranean region from Morocco to Turkey – is undergoing fundamental changes. The transformations following in the wake of the “Arab Spring” have destabilized many societies, the threat of Islamic terrorism has increased. In this context, and departing from the usual definition of European neighborhood, we are also looking at the relationship between Europe and North America. Since the disagreement about the Iraq War in 2003, the transatlantic relationship has suffered from a major crisis of trust, which was only exacerbated by the NSA scandal.

Our Approaches and Instruments

The BMW Foundation’s Young Leaders formats regularly focus on our European neighboring countries. They inspire a dialogue about how countries deal with their social challenges and create long-term ties and connections via the Responsible Leaders Network. Through a new program by and for young leaders from Europe and the United States, the BMW Foundation wants to provide ideas and inspiration for new forms of transatlantic cooperation. Such topics are also addressed by and disseminated to a wider public through our “Island Dialogues” and “Europe United in Diversity” debate formats. The Munich Economic Summit aims to discuss important economic developments in the transatlantic relationship and in the EU’s interregional cooperation with its other neighbors.