For nearly 50 years, the Stiftung Wissenschaft und Politik (German Institute for International and Security Affairs - SWP) has provided analysis on foreign policy issues not only to the Bundestag and the German Federal Government, but also to economic actors and the general public. While the SWP initially dealt primarily with issues of disarmament, today there is a broad spectrum of analysis ranging from classic security policy issues to aspects of climate protection and the political challenges associated with resource scarcity.
What makes the SWP stand out in relation to other bodies providing policy advice is that it relies on the informed analytical expertise of its own researchers. The SWP not only acts as a service provider through its procurement of up-to-date information and its needs-based advising, but also provides a venue for the execution of thorough analytical work. The Institute attaches particular importance to maintaining independence in selecting its focus areas.
To ensure that good ideas become even better ones and that they also be heard, these ideas must be questioned and challenged. Thus the SWP serves above all as a forum for exchange and communication. It is a calm location - but only on the outside - where decision makers can come together with our researchers to run through scenarios in a confidential atmosphere or to discuss issues without having to take into consideration day-to-day or party politics.
The importance of nurturing communication and an exchange of ideas in the proximity of the EU and NATO as well is a responsibility perceived, in particular, by the SWP's Brussels Office. Since 2009, Europe's largest think tank has had its representative office in Brussels, and has valued the lively exchange with other European institutes.
Oliver Meier - Deputy Head, International Security Division
Dr Oliver Meier is Deputy Head of the International Security Division at the German Institute for International and Security Affairs (SWP) in Berlin. Previously, he was Senior Researcher with the Institute for Peace Research and Security Policy at the University of Hamburg and the International Representative and Correspondent of the U.S. Arms Control Association. He has also worked on the staff of Uta Zapf (then chairperson of the subcommittee on disarmament, arms control and non-proliferation in the German Bundestag), was Senior Arms Control and Disarmament Researcher with the Verification Research, Training and Information Centre (VERTIC) in London and a consultant to several non-governmental organisations.
Dr Meier holds a PhD in political science from the Free University of Berlin. He has studied international relations at the Department of Political Sciences at the Free University of Berlin and also was a fellow at the Center for Arms Control and International Security at Stanford University. His expertise includes control of nuclear, chemical and biological weapons, multilateral disarmament and non-proliferation as well as European security issues. He has published widely on arms control and non-proliferation issues.