In the early 1990s, the number of violent assaults on immigrants increased explosively in Brandenburg. Right-wing extremist activities increased, especially in rural areas. This raised the awareness that action by all social forces is necessary. Therefore in 1998 the federal state government of Brandenburg established an action strategy, entitled ‘Tolerantes Brandenburg’, against violence, right-wing extremism and xenophobia, involving all departments of the government. The aim was to consolidate the idea of tolerance and democracy by focusing, inter alia, on the work of administrations, institutions, economy, clubs, educational institutions and public corporations. To accomplish this, the federal state government of Brandenburg cooperates with numerous partners of civil society.
In 2005, the action strategy was updated and renamed ‘Tolerantes Brandenburg - for a strong and lively democracy’. This states the government’s strategy to coordinate joint activities for democracy, freedom, cosmopolitanism and tolerance with its partners in civil society, to enhance civil society and voluntary work in Brandenburg. Globally the project intends to support society in confronting right-wing extremism. The reduction and proscription of violence as well as the support of victims are central aims of the concept. On the other hand, the consolidation of democratic structures in the public sector, the development of tolerance and solidarity as well as the consequent reduction of xenophobia are as important as the qualification of specialists in combating right-wing extremism and violence. Another fundamental aspect is the increase in preventive approaches. All in all, networking partners at local, regional, federal and increasingly European level by the ‘Koordinierungsstelle Tolerantes Brandenburg’ combine all these aims.
Instead of only ‘fighting racism and right-wing-extremism’ the focus now lies on the idea of a strong and lively democracy. This reflects the consequent endeavours of the government and its administration to improve the standard of living for all in Brandenburg. In order to increase the development of networks between different partners, the office ‘Koordinierungsstelle Tolerantes Brandenburg’, acting as a junction, has been established. It organises regular contacts and cooperation between the protagonists. It also promotes the organisation of campaigns and other events that stand for tolerance and democracy. Some of the partnerships work closely in a special ‘advice network’, where they bundle expertise to advise local alliances or people involved in cases of assaults. In Brandenburg, the ‘advice network’ consists of six regions. In each of them, mobile advice teams have been established, which operate by offering advice and information (community consulting) to consolidate democratic society, and which are in steady communication with local and regional initiatives, individuals or groups, mayors, parents, firms or local alliances.
In 2007, a national support programme took up this model and promotes networks of that kind nationwide in all federal states.
|Award category:||partnership working|
|Sector:||Education (higher and lower), training and learning|
|Type of activity:|
|Keywords:||Networking governmental and non-governmental organisations, tolerance, civil society|
|Short English description:||The reduction and proscription of violence as well as the support of victims are central aims of the concept|
|Organisation:||Ministerium für Bildung, Jugend und Sport des Landes Brandenburg, Koordinierungsstelle|
|Level of government:||regional level|
|Size of organisation:||1-25|
|Number of people involved:|
|EU membership:||EU member|