The Goethe-Institut works closely and trustfully with numerous institutions, both within Germany and abroad. We define our work, collaborations and partnerships in the context of fair, sustainable cultural relationships, based on the principles of reciprocity, trust, transparency and co-creation. We promote the roles of culture, language, education, and networking worldwide together with our partners. We are strongly engaged in international networks.

The strong network of the Goethe-Instituts is rooted at local level and promotes this trans-local approach. The effectiveness and relevance of our activities are based on context-sensitive, co-creative and sustainable work approaches together with our partners. Each Goethe-Institut abroad has a network which extends deep into its respective cultural and educational scene.

Cross-border creativity is thereby not only necessary between countries but also within our own society, in order to shape the future. We support stakeholders from Germany in penetrating the worldwide network in an even more targeted way, and provide new momentum in Germany together with our partners worldwide. In Germany, together with its partners, the Goethe-Institut promotes learning about other countries, thereby driving forward processes in society that are characterised by increasing diversity and the internationalisation of Germany. In this way, the Goethe-Institut increases understanding for other societies in Germany, thereby helping diversity to succeed as well as contributing to Germany’s success in international contexts.

Together with our partners, both national and international, we shape international cooperation in our spheres of activity.

German intermediary organisations

Germany’s foreign cultural and educational policy is shaped by several intermediary organisations such as Deutsche Welle, the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD), Institute for Foreign Affairs and the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation. The Goethe-Institut works with these institutions on a trustful and complementary basis.
Art, culture and education, as cornerstones of pluralistic and resilient civil societies, play a substantial role in sustainable development. As well as the intermediary organisations, the Goethe-Institut also works with the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH on a topic-related basis.

Foreign intermediary organisations

The Goethe-Institut implements programmes together with other organisations involved in foreign cultural and educational policy, for example, on behalf of the European Union. The exchange with these foreign intermediary organisations also plays an important role at a strategic level. In a European context, the Goethe-Institut works increasingly in networks such as EUNIC, The European network of national cultural institutes, or the Global Cultural Relations Initiative in order to actively co-design European cultural and educational policy.

Higher education and scientific stakeholders

Higher education institutes accompany our work in the fields of language, education, culture and civil society with critical analysis and innovative ideas. In this way, they can recognise challenges and describe methods to make the work of the Goethe-Institut even more effective.

Ministries, authorities and institutions, federal states, cities, municipalities

As an intermediary organisation of foreign cultural and educational policy, our principal client is the German Foreign Office. The European Union also plays an important role. Alongside these institutions, however, further federal ministries such as the Federal Ministry of the Interior and Community (BMI), the Federal Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs (BMAS), their subordinate authorities, federal state governments, cities and municipalities also commission the Goethe-Institut on a topic-related basis, such as on issues relating to the migration of specialist workers or intercultural education.

Civil society partners and foundations

The Goethe-Institut works from its local roots outwards. Organisations from civil society are important partners for the Goethe-Institut because they are important stakeholders for change in Germany and our partner countries. These civil society stakeholders also include foundations. In many of its activities, the Goethe-Institut cooperates with foundations from Germany, the guest countries or internationally active foundations.


Within the framework of their societal and cultural engagement, companies support Goethe-Institut projects and are partners in the “Germany Years”. The Goethe-Institut cooperates with commercial and industry associations as well as companies on the issue of the qualification of specialist workers. Important partners are the Association of German Chambers of Commerce and Industry (DIHK) and the German Chambers of Commerce Abroad. For further local partners, please visit the homepage of the respective countries.

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