Climate change is upon us – it is not only a measurable phenomenon in our natural environment, but has also ascended to the top of the political agenda. Our goal is to ensure that declarations of intent and resolutions are followed by genuine shifts in priorities and behavior, particularly in the field of energy policy. Wealthy nations in particular must finally do their ecological homework. This is also a question of solidarity: not only with future generations, but also with the poorest populations in the Southern Hemisphere, who are especially affected by climate change. It is most certainly a task that requires collective action, new alliances and new coalitions.
Last year, at a major conference entitled “KyotoPlus”, the Heinrich Böll Foundation assembled prominent international experts from science, government, business and society to propose and discuss potential pathways out of the climate trap.
April 2006 also marked the 20th anniversary of the Chernobyl nuclear disaster. To underscore the importance of this occasion, the Foundation organized an international conference that engaged in a scientific, political and cultural “remembrance for the future.” It is not only the passage of time since this extraordinary catastrophe that makes the dangers of nuclear power seem remote. Rather, it is also imperative to conduct a critical assessment of the nuclear lobby’s attempts to bring nuclear energy back into play as a way out of the climate catastrophe – we should certainly seek to avoid jumping from the frying pan into the fire. In order to bring the debate on the risks of nuclear energy up to date, the Heinrich Böll Foundation has published a comprehensive volume entitled Nuclear Power: Myth and Reality, which has been translated into several languages.
For several years, we have also actively focused on the topic of Europe, as is evidenced by numerous events and publications. Here in Germany, the German EU Presidency has raised public awareness of Europe’s unresolved problems: the European constitutional process must regain momentum and take on a clear direction, the issues of the EU’s borders and its relationship to russia have not yet been clarified, and there is still no commonly agreed conception of the Union’s role in foreign and security policy. The EU now holds the primary responsibility for peaceful and democratic development in Southeastern Europe. In 2006, our Annual Foreign Policy Conference dedicated itself to this topic. The message of the conference was clear: the most effective mechanism for overcoming unresolved status issues and reversals in the democratization process is to provide the Balkan states with a prospect of EU membership that is reliable and that is connected to clear criteria.
Democracy promotion is one of the Heinrich Böll Foundation’s central missions . In many countries throughout the world, we are actively engaged in efforts to advance democratization processes and to support like-minded individuals in their sometimes risky commitment to peace and freedom . Unfortunately, last year we lost two of our courageous cooperation partners and trusted allies in attacks. In Afghanistan, the governor of Paktia province, Abdul Hakim Taniwal, fell victim to a suicide bomb attack. In Turkey, an assassin’s bullets struck journalist and human rights activist Hrant Dink. We will not forget them and will remain actively committed to their causes. This report highlights some of the aspects and details of our work in the past year. Of course, current information is always available on our website.
Berlin, April 2007
Ralf Fücks, Barbara Unmüßig
Table of contents:
- Preface by the Executive Board
- The Heinrich Böll Foundation’s Work to Promote Civic Education and Public Awareness
- Sustainable Development and Globalization
- New Global Order, Security Policy and Democracy Promotion
- EU Policy
- Feminism and Gender Democracy
- Scholarship Program: Promoting Young Talent
- Fellowship Programs Abroad
- Migration, Diversity and Intercultural Democracy
- Contemporary History
- Art and Culture
- Heinrich Böll House in Langenbroich
- News from the Foundation