"Live Democracy!"

Democracy is decided locally. Every day.

"Live Democracy!"

Our democracy needs to be filled with new life every day. It needs people who practise and maintain democratic culture at local level. The aim of the federal programme "Live Democracy!" is to support people in this. With this programme, the Federal Ministry for Family Affairs, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth has been supporting civic engagement for a diverse and democratic society since 2015.

"Live Democracy!" facilitates projects all over Germany which develop and trial new ideas and innovative approaches in promoting democracy, shaping diversity and preventing extremism.

Through Partnerships for Democracy (Partnerschaften für Demokratie) cities, municipalities and districts all over Germany develop strategies for action in order to strengthen democracy and diversity and to counter group-focused enmity. The partnerships decide independently on the types of measures that are to be carried out in their respective local areas.

The Federal State Democracy Centres (Landes-Demokratiezentren) pool the measures targeted at strengthening democracy and diversity within each respective "Land". They also connect all relevant stakeholders and coordinate counselling services, such as mobile counselling and victims’ counselling as well as disengagement and exit counselling services, which are largely funded by "Live Democracy!". The Federal State Democracy Centres were established in close cooperation with the governments of the respective "Länder".

The Competence Centres and Competence Networks (Kompetenzzentren und -netzwerke) bring together and advance expertise in all thematic areas of the federal programme. They organise specialist events and qualification measures and promote the development of professional standards.




Schematic depiction of the structure of the federal programme "Live Democracy!". Picture content ist described in context
Programme structure of "Live Democracy!". Picture: BAFzA

The aims of the federal programme

Promoting democracy.

"Live Democracy!" raises awareness of democratic rights. It supports democratic education and social cohesion. The projects that are being funded are about fundamental principles such as equality, the rule of law, the protection of human rights and social participation in political processes. In particular, children and young people are being supported in exercising their rights of participation and co-determination.

Shaping diversity.

"Live Democracy!" develops solutions aimed at enabling everybody to live a life free of discrimination. The projects thus focus on recognising and valuing diversity. The aim is to understand diversity as an opportunity for our society and to deal with the contradictions and conflicts linked to it in a constructive manner.

Preventing extremism.

"Live Democracy!" aims to prevent the development of anti-democratic, misanthropic as well as extremist attitudes and endeavours to interrupt the process of radicalisation early on. Apart from right-wing extremism, this also includes Islamist and left-wing extremism.

Typographical design: Promoting democracy. Shaping diversity. Preventing extremism. above stylized thumbprint
Cover picture of "Live Democracy!" programme flyer. Picture: BAFzA

Strengthening expertise.

The Competence Centres and Competence Networks are divided into different thematic areas:

  • School and extracurricular education in adolescence
  • Vocational education, training (including transition system)
  • Early childhood education and education in primary school
  • Anti-discrimination and shaping diversity
  • Anti-Semitism
  • Homophobia and transphobia
  • Islamophobia and hostility against Muslims
  • Co-existence in the immigration society
  • Anti-Gypsyism
  • Anti-Black racism
  • Islamist extremism
  • Right-wing extremism
  • Left-wing extremism
  • Online hate speech

Enabling innovation.

Pilot projects develop new and innovative approaches. After the period of successful trial, the methods and materials developed by them are to be used in educational practice in children and youth services as well as in other regular structures.

Based on the three fields of action – promoting democracy, shaping diversity and preventing extremism – the pilot projects are assigned to the following thematic areas:

  • Promoting democracy in childhood
  • Promoting democracy in adolescence and young adulthood
  • Anti-Semitism
  • Anti-Gypsyism
  • Islamophobia and hostility against Muslims
  • Homophobia and transphobia
  • Racism
  • Opportunities and challenges of an immigration society – diversity and anti-discrimination
  • Right-wing extremism
  • Islamist extremism
  • Left-wing extremism
  • Prevention and de-radicalisation in the penal system and in the probation service
  • Comprehensive prevention going beyond individual phenomena: interrelations between individual phenomena, work on de-escalation


Whether or not a project is funded by the federal programme, is being decided on the basis of so-called expression-of-interest procedures. The programme website and the programme newsletter provide information on current or planned expression-of-interest procedures.

Projects planning to become active at local level may be eligible for funding from a Partnership for Democracy. The Partnerships for Democracy decide on the funding of local projects applying their own respective authority. The details of local contacts are listed on the programme website.