Dr. Gunter Pleuger
Lawyer, diplomat, former German ambassador to the UN
DAAD Scholarship 1966–1967
Gunter Pleuger was born in 1941 and has been a diplomat since the end of the 1960s. In November 2002 he received his dream job: German ambassador to the United Nations. From 2003 to 2006, the lawyer represented the Federal Republic of Germany on the UN Security Council and, at the time of the Iraq crisis, held a position that called for great tact and sensitivity. “Joschka Fischer's best man" long had his eyes set on the ambassadorship in New York. Shortly after he entered service at the Federal Foreign Office in Bonn in 1969, the doctor of law spent four years working in the Federal Republic’s UN bureau, after which he knew: "I always wanted to return."
I wouldn't want to do without the time at the ENA.
After postings in New Delhi and Washington, the Wismar-born Pleuger advanced his career in Germany: under Joschka Fischer he became state secretary of the Federal Foreign Office, was responsible for Europe, including South Eastern Europe, during the NATO strikes against the Milosevic regime and in autumn 2000 he represented Germany's interests at the European Union's Nice Summit.
Yet, even before his diplomatic career, Gunter Pleuger had already travelled to Paris with a DAAD scholarship, namely to the ENA "not an institute of knowledge delivery, but rather an institute of knowledge application," emphasises Pleuger. And he still enthuses about the French working methods and seminars today, "which, in all fields of state activity, prepare students for developing options for action at the political decision-making level".
Gunter Pleuger certainly found this kind of experience useful at the United Nations. Germany and France jointly led the coalition against the Iraq War – against the resistance of the United States. Subsequently, Pleuger endeavoured, together with representatives of other states, to bring about a reform of the United Nations and to gain a permanent seat on the Security Council for Germany.
In July 2006, Gunter Pleuger left the United Nations. From 2006 and 2008 he was a visiting lecturer at the Chair for International Organisations and International Policy Field Research at the University of Potsdam. From 2008 to 2014, Pleuger was president of the European University Viadrina in Frankfurt (Oder), where he was able to contribute his international experience. "In the thinking at this university, there is a parallelity with my earlier career. The international and interdisciplinary profile of the Viadrina corresponds with foreign policy thinking. We are multilateralists and seek to solve global problems in an interdisciplinary approach," commented Pleuger in an interview with the Tagesspiegel in the year he took office.