Federal Academy for Security Policy (BAKS)

The Federal Academy for Security Policy (German: Bundesakademie für Sicherheitspolitik, BAKS) is the educational center for security policy of the Federal Government of Germany. 

The Federal Academy for Security Policy was founded in 1992 in Bonn, the former capital of Germany. The Academy promotes a common understanding of integrated security policy with a particular focus on the Federal Republic’s long-term strategic goals. Furthermore, it offers various seminars, acts as a facility for conferences and serves the German debate on security policy with publications and press information.

Politically, the Academy is tasked by Federal Council on Security (German: Bundessicherheitsrat), which is chaired by the Federal Chancellor. All German ministries involved in security policy are part of this Council. Functionally, the Academy reports to the German Chancellery, and organizationally it is subordinate to the Federal Ministry of Defence.

The Academy was relocated to Germany’s new political center, Berlin, in 2004. It comprises of a team dispatched from all ministries of the Federal Council on Security and some of their subordinate agencies.

Meeting in a historical location 

In Berlin, the BAKS found its new home in the Schönhausen Palace grounds, located in the Pankow district - a truly historic location. The eponymous castle of Schönhausen was built around 1690 and later on served as the summer residence of Elisabeth Christine, wife of Prussian King Frederick II (“The Great”). During the time of the German Democratic Republic (GDR), it served as the seat of the President and, after the abolition of this office in 1960, as the GDR government’s guesthouse for international guests of honor. 

During German Reunification, the facility played an important role as a meeting place: In Winter 1989-1990, the Central Round Table (“Zentraler Runder Tisch”) between members of civil society organizations and the last GDR government met here to discuss prospects for the future of East Germany. 

In June 1990, the palace grounds were chosen as the location for the second round of the 2+4 negotiations which eventually paved the way for the reunification of Germany in October 1990. Because of these events it was decided to preserve the meeting hall in its historic condition. Today it is called the “Historical Hall”, and it is still in use as a room for lectures, seminars and workshops, as well as for Model NATO Germany 2023. 

Image Copyright: Bundesregierung /  '2+4-Gespräche' 1990 in Berlin (Ost) (engl.: '2+4 Talks' 1990 in Berlin (East))

Image Copyright: Bundesregierung /  '2+4-Gespräche' 1990 in Berlin (Ost) (engl.: '2+4 Talks' 1990 in Berlin (East))