Democracy & Human Rights

Polish-German perspectives on implementing equality and diversity on the local level


As the examples of Poland and Germany show, European efforts to support progress in the field of gender equality policies should rather not overtly emphasize existing differences, but help to find ways to supplement each other. Whereas the look through the – often judgemental – prism of differences is often reproducing detrimental stereotypes, the search for possibilities of cooperation, exchange of best practices and mutual inspiration has the potential to create an upward dynamic on all sides.  

By Gert Röhrborn

Society & Participation

Where do we go when the storm is coming?


The fifth edition of Green Summer University (ZLU), organized by the Green Zone Foundation and the Green European Foundation in collaboration with the Heinrich Böll Foundation took place from July 12th to 15th under the slogan “Crossing Borders”. Various supporters of “greening up” European societies met in Janów Podlaski, nearby the Polish-Ukrainian border, where the dialogue between different cultures, religions and languages is especially intense.

By Gert Röhrborn

Transforming our world. A gender perspective.


Implementing sustainable development is partially the art of overcoming false juxtapositions. It would be a gross mistake to approach (and discard) challenges related to saving our planet and creating just societies with equal rights for all in the Brechtian perspective of “Food is the first thing, morals follow on”.

By Gert Röhrborn

Imagined urban communities. Eastern European experiences


Can politically engaged art help individuals to create vibrant, self-sustaining and inclusive urban communities, where they feel connected with their place of living and their fellow citizens?

By Annika Poblocki, Gert Röhrborn
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Gender Democracy


The Helsinki Foundation for Human Rights, in collaboration with the Heinrich Böll Foundation in Warsaw and as part of qualitative pilot studies on cyber-violence from the female perspective, has decided to encourage preventive action.

By Zuzanna Warso, Gert Röhrborn

Anti-abortion laws vs. women's rights - legal opinion

The Polish Sejm definitively rejected the citizen’s bill that would have introduced a total ban on abortion in Poland. Document introduced by the “Stop Abortion” coalition unleashed unprecedented women's demonstrations across Poland and abroad. Prof. Monika Płatek has prepared a legal opinion on the proposed law facilitating an understanding of the scale of the social protests.

By Prof. Monika Płatek
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History & Challenges

Liberal Democracies in Crisis

The world has grown more complex. We must take people’s insecurities seriously and rebuild their trust in the ability of politics to provide solutions. Openness, patience and firmness of purpose: in the fight for modern liberal democracy, this triad is our only hope.  Article by Marieluise Beck, German green politician.

By Marieluise Beck

The Battle for Modernity

Today’s central line of conflict runs between open societies and various forms of Identitarian radicalism. The challenge we face is to reconcile rapid changes in a globalized modern age with our need to belong and our need for security.

By Ralf Fücks
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Politics of protest. Understanding political protest in Central Europe

The project organized in cooperation with Collegium Civitas examines recent popular protest movements in Central European countries. Six expert seminars serve to examine recent protests in Bosnia, Bulgaria, Germany, Hungary, Poland and Romania. Invited country experts will discuss the political background, sociological causes and motivations of protests as well as organizational forms of current mobilizations. The case studies will help us to develop a common analytical framework for understanding political protest in the region. Project description.


All for Equality - Equality for all. Sexual and reproductive rights in CEE

Despite the unquestionable global progress concerning women’s autonomy, their human rights to decide freely and responsibly on sexual and reproductive health remain to an unacceptable degree unfulfilled. Therefore, this particular issue constituted the central theme of presentations at the Fourth International Gender Workshop in Warsaw. 

Strategizing to overcome Gender Backlash in Central and Eastern Europe

In order to reflect on the regional implications of the presumably global trend of “backlash” in gender relations the offices of the Heinrich Böll Foundation in Belgrade, Berlin, Kyiv, Moscow, Prague and Warsaw invited scholars and activists from Armenia, Belarus, Czech Republic, Georgia, Hungary, Poland, Russia, Serbia, Slovakia and Ukraine to attend the Third International Gender Workshop in Berlin (27-29.09.2014).

By Gert Röhrborn

Full Speed ahead, in reverse gear

Polish accession to the European Union, the election of female representatives, and existing European legislation raised high hopes for the possibility of legislative improvements for women and LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender) people. How, then, did the first decade of Polish female representatives in the European Parliament look? Has the presence of Polish women influenced the agenda of the institution? Have there been any issues with legislation concerning equal rights, equal opportunities, and anti-discrimination?

By Anna Dryjańska
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Annual Report 2016

The annual report 2016 gives an overview about the activities of the Heinrich Böll Foundation inland and overseas. It deals with European policy, democracy, human rights, international power relations, the social and environmental transformation, art and culture to mention but a few.

Annual Report 2015

The annual report 2015 of the Heinrich Böll Foundation offers an overview about the work in that year of the 31 international offices worldwide and 16 state-level Böll Foundations in Germany.

Democracy & Human Rights

Democracy is a liberal political system as well as a utopian ideal that we all aspire to. It takes its driving power from active citizens at both the local and global level. In our debates and publications we discuss the current issues that are important for the future of democracy and the question of further European integration, participation, civic engagement, and green politics, both in Poland and abroad. The point of departure for us is the post-war history of Europe, especially the political transformation and cost of demolishing former European divisions from the point of view of individual states and their citizens.


Dossier: For democracy worldwide

Dossier: For democracy worldwide

Dossier in English about numerous ways to support democracy in various countries, including multiple examples of the Heinrich Böll Foundation's work worldwide. Plus interesting case studies and regional analyses which summarise the status quo and future challenges.

Beijing + 20 - Dossier about actions for women's empowerment

EU projects by the Heinrich Böll Foundation

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