Stiftung Mercator presents new strategy: Europe is new thematic cluster alongside integration, climate change and cultural education

New strategic phase was preceded by a review of the previous strategy by an international commission

Press release

Essen, 10.07.2014

Stiftung Mercator was able to continue its steady growth last year, approving 126 projects with a volume of around 62 million euros. The new strategy “Mercator 2020 – Creating Possibilities, Generating Opportunities” is all about continuity and involves deepening and expanding the foundation’s existing thematic clusters of integration, climate change and cultural education. Europe has long been a part of the foundation’s strategy and one of the focal regions in its projects, and has now been made the fourth thematic cluster.

“Stiftung Mercator is concentrating on continuity in its objectives and areas of thematic focus. At the same time, it remains open to new work approaches and cooperative ventures that will facilitate the achievement of its social goals”, explains management spokesperson Winfried Kneip. Being a learning organization, Stiftung Mercator has had its strategy reviewed in recent months by a nine-member international commission that was chaired by Professor Otfried Jarren, vice-president of the University of Zurich, and whose deputy chairman was Dr Wolf Schmidt of PhiPolisConsult.  

Rüdiger Frohn, chairman of the Stiftung Mercator Advisory Board, charged the commission with reflecting on the foundation’s processes of strategy formation, implementation and development. The goal of the evaluation process at the end of the strategic phase “Mercator 2013: Inspiring Ideas, Achieving Objectives” was to assess the overall strategy and the way the foundation works. The commission’s comprehensive report, which contains insights and suggestions that are of interest not only to Stiftung Mercator but also to the entire foundations sector, can be downloaded from Stiftung Mercator’s new website at The new website is live from today and offers visitors a contemporary, clearly-structured and above all user-friendly experience.  

Stiftung Mercator drew on the findings of the evaluation process when defining its new strategy “Mercator 2020 – Creating Possibilities, Generating Opportunities”. The new strategy is the follow-up to the previous strategic phase and is intended to take this to the next stage. More information can be found at: During the next strategic phase, the three existing thematic clusters of integration, climate change and cultural education will be deepened and extended with a view to their systematic further development. Europe has now been made the fourth thematic cluster; as such, the foundation will be engaging with this topic even more intensively and, as in the other clusters, following an interdisciplinary approach.  

As Winfried Kneip explains: “As a German and European foundation, Stiftung Mercator strongly believes that the European Union represents the best-possible model for the future of our continent. Only together can Europe work on solutions to global challenges such as climate change in a complex and multipolar world. To counter the loss of confidence in the European idea, Stiftung Mercator is now taking an even more interdisciplinary approach to tackling this issue.” The new thematic cluster of Europe will focus on developing projects that strengthen European cohesion and promote a democratic Europe that is capable of action. The aim is to inspire young people in particular about the idea of this kind of Europe.  

The foundation’s Annual Report 2013 – containing all approved grants and all figures for 2013 in detail, an overview of the foundation’s financial development over the past five years and our carbon footprint in 2013 – was published today and can be downloaded from our website at     

About Stiftung Mercator:
Stiftung Mercator is a private foundation which fosters science and the humanities, education and international understanding. It specifically initiates, develops and funds projects and partner organizations in the thematic fields to which it is committed: it wants to strengthen Europe, improve integration through equal educational opportunities for everyone, drive forward the energy transition as a trigger for global climate change mitigation and firmly anchor cultural education in schools. Stiftung Mercator feels a strong sense of loyalty to the Ruhr region, the home of the founding family and the foundation’s headquarters.