Strengthening democracy and social participation

What´s the problem?

The existing political system is strongly characterized by the non-participation and exclusion of many people in negotiation and decision-making processes, inherited decision-making structures, short-term thinking and the extensive externalization of social and ecological costs. The enshrinement of "sustainability" as a state goal in Article 20a of the Basic Law, which states that the state is responsible for protecting the natural foundations of life for future generations, has not sufficiently led to the preservation of the environment and global justice.

What´s the measure?

  • Strengthening grassroots democratic negotiation and decision-making structures.
  • Sufficient time and material security for participation in democratic negotiation and decision-making processes.

What can the implementation look like?

  • Strengthening grassroots democratic negotiation and decision-making structures (e.g. by establishing networked commoning structures, including decentralized climate, care, food (etc.) councils)
  • Promotion of Article 20a of the Basic Law from a state goal to a basic right to sustainability, establishment of a "council for the future" with grassroots democratic legitimacy, which has a right of veto for unsustainable projects, establishment of an "ombudsperson" (person with impartial arbitration function) for the representation of interests of future generations, obligatory lobby register, three-year waiting period, in which a change of politicians* to lobbying activities is generally prohibited, more transparent and controlled regulation of party financing, no employment of external employees* from industry in the ministries (Lobbycontrol 2016), expansion of the right of non-profit non-governmental organisations (NGOs) to take legal action at federal level, more legal security for political decision-making: The German Fiscal Code must be amended in such a way that political decision-making by civil society organisations is given the appropriate legal framework and all corresponding objectives are recognised as non-profit (Allianz Rechtssicherheit für politische Willensbildung 2017, Preference for non-profit organisations in the leasing and sale of public buildings)
    Sufficient time and material security for participation in democratic negotiation and decision-making processes (e.g. by reducing working hours, basic and maximum income, expanding social infrastructure, etc. etc.)

Further literature and sources

Artikel 20a Grundgesetz

Hanna Ketterer / Karina Becker (Hrsg.): Was stimmt nicht mit unserer Demokratie? Mit Beiträgen von Klaus Dörre, Nancy Fraser, Stepehan Lessenich und Hartmut Rosa, Suhrkamp 2019

Katja Kipping: Grundeinkommen als Demokratiepauschale,

Bauman, Zygmunt (2000), Die Krise der Politik. Fluch und Chance einer neuen Öffentlichkeit, Hamburg.

Stand der Übersetzung

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