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Democracy

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Democratisation is a chief tenet of green politics and a central issue in political education. Still it is often far from clear how to translate the general notion of democratisation into concrete projects, campaigns, or educational programmes. "Civil society" is one such concept which, while widely embraced, is very contentious when it comes to questions of implementation. Other such issues are the crisis of party democracy, the media and democracy, as well as numerous fundamental questions surrounding the relationship between politics and science. All of these are part of the foundation's activities. A further focus of our work are programmes that tackle far-right extremism and racism.

Greenpeace protesters against nuclear energy
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Around the world, autocratic regimes, and some that consider themselves democratic, are restricting the work of civil society groups that hold them to account.

Refugees at the Western Station in Vienna, September 5, 2015
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Many experts are in agreement that the causes and long-term implications of the refugee issue can hardly be resolved at national level. Whether Brussels can play a more prominent role was the subject of debate at the annual European Conference held by the Heinrich Böll Stiftung in Berlin on 26 May 2016.

Ecology

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Ecology and sustainable development are central areas for securing the future of humanity – areas which should by no means be treated as a political football. It is to the credit of the green movement within and outside parliaments that ecology has become one of the main arenas of politics. There is hardly another subject which, within the last 30 years, has been thus transformed from the concern of a few scientists, activists (often thought of as "nutters") into a topic of world conferences.

The NGO Natural Justice and its regional partners, with the support of the Heinrich Böll Foundation, jointly assisted a number of communities to develop community protocols in the context of extractive industries. You can download them here.

Kraftwerk Boxberg seen from the Schwarze Pumpe power plant from
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The envisaged sale of Vattenfall’s East German lignite assets to EPH has raised many questions about the sustainability of open-cast lignite mining and power generation. It has also shone a spotlight on the prospective new owner.

Economy & Social Issues

Creator: Sven Festersen. Creative Commons LizenzvertragThis image is licensed under Creative Commons License.

Contemporary social change is characterised by a change in the age structure of our society as well as by changes concerning life styles, relationships and gender relations. Sustained high unemployment rates have meant that the idea of full employment has become a remote possibility. At the same time this has refocused the debate on the crises of the wage economy and the adverse effects it has on systems of social security. Thus current problems do also give scope to the development of new concepts of work – of work beyond a salaried economy.

The Heinrich Böll Foundation looks at alternatives to the West-German model of a salaried, male, full-time job economy. At conferences and in publications we compare national models of employment and social policy, discuss life and work styles beyond the market or state, and discuss the potential of employment in the non-profit sector, the dynamics of shadow economies, moonlighting, job creation schemes, work migration and bogus self-employment. Presently we focus on the question, if – or how – new concepts of work can go together with global equality.

A biogas facility in the Ukraine
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Green Economy sets out to rectify the failure of classical economics witnessed with regard to climate change and biodiversity loss by assigning a monetary value to nature and by integrating ecosystem services into the market system.

A red sign saying the word "more"
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“Business as usual” is not a realistic option, as even the international mainstream of the World Bank, UNEP and OECD acknowledge, an admission which has in turn boosted the Green Economy’s career prospects.

International Politics

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After the end of the cold war foreign and security policies have been subject to rapid change. This development has been further accelerated after September 11. Traditional security policies such as deterrence and containment have been replaced by risk prevention, crisis intervention, and preemptive policy measures. Increasingly questions of foreign, security, and developmental policy have become intertwined. The debates surrounding the war on Iraq have brought to the surface tensions between the USA and Europe – as well as within Europe itself. Against this background we would like to continue the debates on the future of transatlantic relations - and this against the background of new security policy risks, crisis prevention, and preemptive policies.

Two letters: E in Union Jack Design and U in European Union Design
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The referendum on UK's membership in the EU marks a unprecedented turning point in the history of the EU. Its effects cannot entirely be foreseen but it shows the current problem areas of the European integration project.

Brexit-Karte der EU
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Great Britain will leave the EU. What does that mean for European Union going forward? What can be done to strengthen political unity within the Union? A commentary by Ralf Fücks.

Education & Culture

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In the fields of science and education, the activities of the Heinrich Böll Foundation reflect the change of modern societies towards what has been labelled "Knowledge Society." Knowledge – especially scientific knowledge – has increasingly become a crucial resource and education the precondition for participation in the public sphere. This participation in turn includes the ability to take part in social deliberations about the direction and the limits of scientific and technological progress.

Poems, short prose and essays on the fate of refugees and asylum-seekers - as published in our "Berlin Anthology - From where I shan't return".

Art and its public spaces in Amman, Berlin, Casablanca: How did the reception of public spaces change since the Arabic Spring? Which artistic strategies can realize new forms of participication?

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