Focus Area Social Cohesion in Germany and Europe

Each one of us can take on responsibility for the common good
What holds us together? In a society that continues to become more diverse, and in which old structures such as families and clubs are losing their power to unite, there are numerous potential breaking points: between the young and the old, the haves and the have-nots; between urban and rural regions, the religious and the non-religious, between Christians and Muslims.

The strengthening of social cohesion in Germany and Europe is a major focus area of our work – in health and science as well as in education and international understanding. With our projects, we promote an open and cohesive society in which all people have the opportunity to shape their living environments – regardless of their social, ethnic, or cultural background. Each one of us can take on responsibility for the common good, and the more people actively embrace this responsibility, the stronger the social fabric that holds us together becomes.

In the focus area "Social Cohesion in Germany and Europe," we concentrate on three aspects:

  • Compromise on values and attitudes
  • Active citizenry and participation
  • Equal opportunity and fair access

Compromise on Values and Attitudes
We support compromise on mutual values and principles that form the foundation of our ability to live together in Germany and Europe. The discussion of values stemming from various religious concepts is especially important in this context. For us, one central topic is the immediate living environment: people’s schools, communities, and careers. These are settings where various environments and attitudes collide. European understanding can only be achieved if people feel the positive effects of integration in everyday life and have positive personal experiences. Through our projects, we counteract populist, anti-European, and anti-democratic movements in numerous member states of the European Union and in the surrounding regions.

Active Citizenry and Participation
A democratic, social, and solidly united municipality depends on committed citizens to take responsibility for themselves and others in their community. In Germany and in Europe, we work to strengthen these actors in civil society and support their ideas and responses to current societal questions. We promote international exchange among committed citizens and pay special attention to the participation of "silent" groups, such as young people. We incorporate new forms of civic involvement ‒ such as socio-entrepreneurial approaches and social movements ‒ into our work.

Equal Opportunity
Equal opportunity and fair access are two important keys for social cohesion. That is why we develop and support plans that ensure appropriate access to education and science, culture, health care, and other social services for all citizens. In order to achieve the necessary structural changes, we work together with the institutions that shape these structures: hospitals, ministries, policy-makers, administration in the federal government, states and municipalities, as well as civic organizations.

Featured Activities
Projects of the Focus Area
"On y va - auf geht’s - let's go!"

"On y va - auf geht’s - let's go!"

The European program aims at combining the support for civil voluntary commitment and for the comprehensive goal of bringing French, German and citizens from at least one other EU country closer together.

Dialog with Time. The Interactive Exhibition

Dialog with Time. The Interactive Exhibition

The exhibition plays a key role in enabling both young and old to approach old age and aging in an interactive and experience-driven manner, as well as in prompting a discussion on how we view age in our society.

Let’s Have a Say in Local Politics

Let’s Have a Say in Local Politics

Get involved! Have your say! Help decide! We are supporting young people in Baden-Württemberg who want to get involved in their local area and take part in political decision-making processes.