Lord Mandelson – New President of GBF

Lord Mandelson, President of German British Forum
Lord Mandelson, President of German British Forum

The German British Forum is delighted to announce that Lord Mandelson will join its supervisory board as President with immediate effect.

The German British Forum is the United Kingdom’s primary bilateral forum for discussing German-British affairs and activities, particularly promoting dialogue on business, social and political issues.

Peter Mandelson is a senior British Labour politician and chairman of strategic advisory firm Global Counsel. He is a former European Trade Commissioner and British First Secretary of State. As Trade Commissioner between 2004 and 2008, Peter negotiated trade agreements with many countries and led European negotiations in the WTO Doha World Trade Round.

Lord Mandelson became President of the Great Britain China Centre in 2015, and he is also President of the Policy Network think tank and Senior Adviser to Lazard. With several strong links connecting Britain and Germany, the German British Forum welcomes Lord Mandelson’s experience of international affairs to the board.

“Peter’s experience as a parliamentarian, UK Cabinet member and European trade commissioner makes him a perfect, highly experienced president for the GBF at a crucial time in our 22-year history,” said GBF chairman Robert Bischof. “With the possibility of a hard Brexit underway, a changing relationship between the United States, Britain and Europe, and many people in both Germany and Britain keen to maintain strong ties, Peter’s gravitas can help the GBF to increase high value dialogue between the two countries.”

Lord Mandelson said: “Brexit will mean that Britain has to work all the harder to maintain country to country relations with Europe’s leading economies. These relations will also be important during the coming negotiations. By deepening our links with leading players like Germany, along with other EU member states, Britain will be able to maintain some of its influence in our own neighbourhood.”

The GBF’s current president and co-founder David Marsh is stepping down to dedicate all his time to OMFIF, the Official Monetary and Financial Institutions Forum.

Download the Press Release here

For more information about the German British Forum please visit our website www.gbf.com or contact me

For more information about Global Counsel visit: global-counsel.co.uk/



Britain’s Future in Europe

The Programme for the upcoming German British Forum Conference “Britain’s Future in Europe: Anglo-German Perspectives” is now available.

With confirmed speakers including The Right Hon. Lord David Owen,The Right Hon. Lord Peter Mandelson, and the German Federal Minister of Finance Dr Wolfgang Schäuble, it promises to be a stimulating and significant event.


Click to download the details.

German British Forum Conference 2016
Click to view or download the programme

German and Proud

When the Germans are bad, they are b……y awful, but when they are trying to be good, they seem to be more annoying and irritating to some.

This letter appeared in the Times on 26 December 2015; we here have also the unedited text


Edward Lucas must be congratulated on his thoughtful article today (“Self-righteous Germany has left guilt behind”) – in spite of its misleading headline.

When the Germans are bad, they are b……y awful, but when they are trying to be good, they seem to be more annoying and irritating to some. These are of course two sides of the same coin.

As a German, who has lived and worked in Britain for over 40 years, I am beginning to be proud to be German again. The latter side of the coin suits me and my countrymen definitely better. Long may it last.

As for Britain leaving the EU and inevitably hitching closer up to the US, I hope the famous British common sense will prevail.

Sincerely yours
Bob Bischof
Chairman, German British Forum
Vice-President, German British Chamber of Commerce & Industry


Bob Bischof - German and Proud

Investment in Skills & Productivity: German-British Forum Conference

Better training as the key to economic dynamism

Bob Bischof will be co-chairing the upcoming German-British Forum Conference on Monday 22 and Tuesday 23rd November this year.

Entitled Investment in Skills & Productivity: Better training as the key to economic dynamism, the conference will address pressing macro- and micro-economic themes around how to ensure young people are being trained in the right ways to address the future needs of modern European economies.

Investment in Skills: the German-British Forum Conference
Download the Conference Programme and Registration Form PDF

Europe as a whole recognises that a high-skill, high-productivity economy provides the most effective platform to boost competitiveness and enhance well-being.

As Peter Loescher, Chief Executive of Siemens AG, put it at the Annual Dinner of the German-British Chamber of Industry and Commerce on 9 June 2010 in London;

“We have to get the message across to our youngsters in schools and universities that we need to out-innovate the innovators all over the world.”

German Industry UK (GIUK) has been at the forefront of efforts by German businesses in the UK to attempt to provide in Britain a framework similar to the German Dual Training System.

GIUK has held constructive meetings with Ministers from both the Labour government and the new Conservative-Liberal coalition administration and has now set up a working group within the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills to determine how this can be done for England.

The new UK government has made tackling the skills gap a significant priority in its efforts to spur economic renewal. There is considerable interest in learning lessons from Germany, where equipping the workforce with competitive skills through the vaunted apprenticeship and vocational training system, in partnership with industry, has long been a centre-piece of economic policy.

The presence of a large number of German companies in the UK has added impetus. Underlining this point, Robert Bosch, BMW, EON and Siemens are all giving support to the conference.

The gathering will highlight the role of the Technician Council, a new body set up in the UK to promote a new non-academic route to technical excellence for employees in many different fields.