The task of the Federal Agency for Civic Education (bpb) is to promote understanding of political matters, to consolidate democratic awareness and increase willingness to become involved politically.
With the federal programme "Cohesion through participation", the Federal Ministry of the Interior supports projects for democratic participation and against extremism. Its central core comprises regionally based associations, federations and multipliers which operate in rural, structurally weak areas and which are particularly affected by social and economic changes, as a result of outward migration or demographic change. The main focal points of the programme is the training of association-based advisors in the general areas of democratic enhancement and conflict management and the qualification of employees or volunteers in civil society and local authority administrations.
The aim of the projects sponsored in the programme is to support a self-aware, lively and democratic community culture in which extremist, non-constitutional trends cannot become established.
The aim of the Alliance, which was established in 2000 by the Federal Ministry of the Interior and the Federal Ministry of Justice, is to focus the commitment of civil society to democracy and tolerance and against extremism and violence and to raise its profile amongst the general public. For this, it works to encourage and stimulate as many citizens as possible to work for our democracy. The Alliance acts as a point of contact for groups in civil society and people working on a voluntary basis.
Around half of all young people aged 16 to 25 belong to a sports club. This makes organised sport particularly interesting for right-wing extremists who are seeking to spread their attitude and beliefs and attract young people to join them. To stop this, sporting and political organisations started the joint campaign "Foul from the Right-Wing – sports and politics united for tolerance, respect and human dignity" at national, regional and local level in 2011. One of the main aims of the campaign is to make associations and in particular the people responsible for training and support aware of the situation and offer them training and support.
The foundation "Memory, Responsibility and Future" (EVZ Foundation) was established in 2000 with the task of paying compensation to people who were forced labourers under the National Socialist regime. The foundation capital, originally €5.2 billion, was provided by the German state and German business. The payment programmes were completed in 2007. The EVZ Foundation was provided with a basic capital of €358 million to fund its ongoing activities. Since then, the EVZ Foundation has used its revenues to support projects dedicated to examining history, supporting human rights activities and showing commitment to the victims of National Socialism.
Founded in 2011, the Helene Weber College (HWK) was the first national, non-party platform for committed women in politics. The initiative is committed to attracting more women into positions of political leadership and decision-making. It particularly emphasises the area of local politics. It is here in particular, where democracy is based, that both men and women are needed in equal proportion.
The Euro-Mediterranean-Arabic States Association (EMA), in cooperation with the Federal Ministry for Family Affairs, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth and with support from the Foreign Office, has initiated the German-Arabic mentoring project "Ouissal" which aims to strengthen the participation of women in the economy and in society. The pilot project is targeted at women from Germany, Tunisia and Morocco with the project objective sustainable economic empowerment.
Organisations for migrant women have an important role to play in representing interests specific to women and integration. Building on two national congresses for migrant women organised by the Federal Ministry for Family Affairs, the foundation and development of a country-wide umbrella organisation independent of origin has been supported by the Federal Ministry for Family Affairs and the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees since October 2013.
From 2011 to 2014, the federal programme PROMOTE TOLERANCE - ENFORCE COMPETENCE implemented by the Federal Ministry for Family Affairs, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth promoted projects throughout Germany to encourage tolerance and democracy and to combat right-wing extremism, hostility towards foreigners and anti-Semitism. Local Action Plans in over 170 municipalities supported organisations in civil society in their commitment to tolerance and diversity together. In addition, the federal programme funded around pilot projects which tested innovative methods and approaches in preventive work with children and young people along with 16 advisory networks active in the federal states which acted as points of contact for communities and people affected by right-wing extremist violence.
The aim of the federal programme "Strengthen Democracy Initiative" conceived by the Federal Ministry for Family Affairs, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth was to strengthen tolerant, democratic attitudes and behaviours amongst young people in order to counter the attraction of left-wing extremist and extremist Islamic ideologies and group affiliations. Pilot projects funded throughout Germany were intended to stimulate social debate concerning the phenomena of left-wing extremism and Islamic extremisms and to develop suitable preventive concepts.
With the special XENOS programme "Exit to Entry", the Federal Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs supported young people in leaving the right-wing scene. Support was provided for initiatives, projects and associations that were developing new ideas for linking leaving a right-wing extremist environment with entering work.
From 2007 to 2010, within the federal programme "DIVERSITY DOES US GOOD. Young people for diversity, tolerance and democracy", the Federal Ministry for Family Affairs, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth promoted projects for the sustained prevention of right-wing extremism, hostility to foreigners and anti-Semitism.
From 2007 to 2010, the Federal Ministry for Family Affairs, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth supported, within the federal programme "competent. for Democracy – advisory networks against right-wing extremism", the federal states in building up country-wide advisory networks which would provide expert help and advice in crisis situations with a right-wing extremist background.
To strengthen their commitment to diversity, tolerance and democracy, all local authorities were called upon to take part in the "Places of Diversity" initiative.