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Political Foundations


The central development-policy task of the six political foundations receiving funding from the BMZ (Friedrich Ebert Foundation, Konrad Adenauer Foundation, Friedrich Naumann Foundation, Hanns Seidel Foundation, Heinrich Böll Foundation and Rosa Luxemburg Foundation) is the sustainable promotion or establishment of democracy and civil society. That involves strengthening the key institutions in a democratic social order, such as parliaments, political parties and an independent judiciary, as well as promoting good governance and opportunities for civil society participation.

The foundations do not act on behalf of the German government, but only with its agreement and financial support. They thus have opportunities to act in ways which are largely independent of agreements made in the framework of bilateral government development cooperation. Political foundations address the following levels through their educational, advisory and dialogue programmes:

  • Individual level:
    To promote political participation citizens are taught about democratic institutions, democratic values and conduct, civil rights and duties through political education measures. Individuals who appear suited to playing an important role as drivers of change in their home country are also supported - for example by being awarded scholarships.

  • Social level:
    The foundations also promote civil-society organisations which are in a position to play a role in initiating and implementing reforms.

  • Governmental level:
    Governments and parliaments receive support in drafting new laws and efficiently organising their administration, for example. Parliaments and their committees receive advice in order to be able to carry out their control function vis-à-vis the government. The judiciary receives support in order to establish the rule of law and legal certainty and to enforce human rights.

  • International level:
    Political foundations are increasingly becoming involved in international and global dialogue processes on issues that are of relevance to development policy. They also help to strengthen civil-society organisations from developing and transition countries through capacity building and help to introduce them to transnational structures and global policy networks as well as the coordination, negotiation and decision-making structures of central international institutions.

In 2009 the BMZ contributed 216 million euros to the development-policy work of political foundations.

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