The newly elected President of the IRZ Board of Trustees, Parliamentary State Secretary Christian Lange (on the right), with his predecessor, Dr. Jörg Freiherr Frank von Fürstenwerth, during the board meeting held on 16 November 2020 in Berlin
The newly elected President of the IRZ Board of Trustees, Parliamentary State Secretary Christian Lange (on the right), with his predecessor, Dr. Jörg Freiherr Frank von Fürstenwerth, during the board meeting held on 16 November 2020 in Berlin

At the board meeting of the German Foundation for International Legal Cooperation (IRZ) held on Monday, Parliamentary State Secretary Christian Lange succeeded Dr. Jörg Freiherr Frank von Fürstenwerth as the new President of the Board of Trustees.

Dr. von Fürstenwerth, former Chairman of the Executive Board of the German Insurance Association, has had a considerable influence over the progress made by IRZ over the past 14 years. Christian Lange, who has held the position of Parliamentary State Secretary at the German Federal Ministry of Justice for the past seven years and is now taking on an important legacy, thanked the outgoing President for his commitment to promoting the rule of law in IRZ partner states.
Lange said:

“In the name of peace, human rights and promoting the social market economy, the Foundation supports its partner states in the development of constitutional, democratic and market-based structures. It’s about constructing, for example, a legitimate administrative system, which is able to withstand corruption, or an independent jurisdiction. IRZ also offers advice on the reforms required in the area of private law and the economy to open a country up to investment and develop the foundations for long-term economic success. It helps to find ways of reconciling traditional, long-standing interpretations of the law with international requirements. These are just a few of the areas in which IRZ is active, supplying a variety of training programmes, for example.”

The main geographical areas covered by IRZ concern advice and support for entrants to the EU and prospective entrants from the western Balkans, cooperation with Vietnam under the German-Vietnamese Rule of Law dialogue and work in North Africa and Sub-Saharan Africa. At the beginning of this year, Christian Lange was in Senegal to sign a memorandum of understanding.

“We must fight corruption and protect human rights. IRZ makes an important contribution towards improving people’s lives and protecting their safety. At the same time, a reliable legal system makes a region more attractive to economic players. This indirectly helps to combat the causes of flight and migration in a sustainable way. It’s a win-win situation: commercial enterprises gain access to new markets, with a legal system they can rely on, whilst local people can find work in their own countries and look forward to a better future than the dangers of fleeing through the desert and across the Mediterranean. Our aim is to expand our commitment in Africa,” said Lange as he looks forward to his time as President.