In the past decades, German society has become ethnically, religiously and culturally diverse. Germany has in fact long since become an immigration society; but we are still lagging behind that reality in the public consciousness and in integrating immigrants via the educational system and the labor market. To succeed, a multicultural democracy needs global openness and tolerance, but also common points of reference such as the basic values anchored in our Constitution, our legal system, and a common language as the basis of understanding. Cultural diversity is an enrichment when it is built upon that foundation. However, it must not be confused with a relativism of values. It is within this area of tension that the Heinrich Böll Foundation is active both domestically and abroad. Questions of social and political citizenship, productively dealing with societal diversity, as well as the dialogue with the Muslim community are among the emphases of our work. The examination of cultural and religious diversity is also at the core of our activities abroad. Virtually on a daily basis, we are involved with organizing the “dialogue of cultures” and simultaneously promoting respect for universal human rights. The interplay between our activities domestically and abroad is particularly positive in terms of addressing issues of political culture. This was illustrated most recently by our activities addressing the controversy surrounding the Mohammed caricatures.
Globalization is a process replete with contradictions. It brings forth new things and destroys old traditions. At the same time, a unique dynamic is developing in the worldwide communication between people, institutions and nations. The Heinrich Böll Foundation is participating in the debate on the new global challenges and strives to take steps to promote an ecologically and socially most just world. We are active with events and publications on the topics of agriculture, global gender justice, trade and future development. One example of this is the EcoFair Trade Dialogue, which we introduce in this report.
The Foundation initiated one of the most comprehensive cooperation projects in its history to commemorate the occasion of the 10th anniversary of the murder of over 8,000 Bosnian boys and men by Serbian troops in the “UN Protected Zone” of Srebenica. The photo exhibition “Srebenica – Remembrance for the Future,” created in cooperation with numerous Bosnian partners, was shown in several European cities and in Washington. The exhibition was accompanied by discussion events and a publication featuring internationally renowned authors such as Vàclav Havel and Carla del Ponte. Of equally current relevance was our event “The Presence of the Past,” commemorating the occasion of the genocide of the Armenian people during the Ottoman Empire. That also involved the difficult examination of historical injustice, without which the emergence of a democratic and open society is virtually impossible.
Gender equality is a central issue of democracy and justice for the Heinrich Böll Foundation. With an international congress in September, attended by almost 1,000 women (and a few men), the Foundation offered a forum for discussion and controversy, where debate was held on important political issues such as the labor market and globalization, bio- and science policy, peace and security, and the effects of religious and political fundamentalism, all viewed from the gender-political perspective. We were particularly pleased by the attendance of many young women for whom these issues were still unfamiliar.
This report highlights some of the aspects and details of our work in the past year; current information is always available on our Website.
Berlin, April 2006
Ralf Fücks Barbara Unmüßig
- PREFACE BY THE EXECUTIVE BOARD
- SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT AND GLOBALIZATION
- ART, CULTURE AND GLOBALIZATION
- NEW WORLD ORDER, SECURITY POLICY AND CRISIS PREVENTION
- EUROPEAN NEIGHBOR POLICY
- FEMINISM AND GENDER DEMOCRACY
- THE POLITICS OF OUR KNOWLEDGE SOCIETY
- PROMOTING YOUNG TALENT
- THE HEINRICH BÖLL FOUNDATION’S FELLOWSHIP PROGRAMS ABROAD
- CONTEMPORARY HISTORY
- MIGRATION, DIVERSITY AND INTERCULTURAL DEMOCRACY
- HEINRICH BÖLL HAUS LANGENBROICH
- NEWS FROM THE FOUNDATION
- OFFICES ABROAD