Democracy & Human Rights

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.

The Great Extinction, the Green Wave and the Polish case


For five years,  a great festival of green politics has been taking place in Poland every mid-July, the Green Summer University is organised by the Green Zone Foundation in cooperation with the Heinrich Böll Foundation in Warsaw and the Green European Foundation (GEF). Every year, activists, experts and politicians from Poland and abroad come together to discuss the most important challenges of green policy in the face of a multidimensional ecological crisis.

By Gert Röhrborn

Programme Coordination


Society & Participation

2019 Cohort of Transatlantic Media Fellows


We are excited to announce our selection of Transatlantic Media Fellows for 2019.

Within the framework of the Transatlantic Media Fellowships we cooperate with our Office in Washington, DC. As a part of the programme, we support committed journalism by offering stipend for journalists for a travel to the United States to research stories relevant to the foundation’s work on climate and energy policy, democracy and social policy, or foreign and security policy.

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Gender Democracy

Embodying an image of history


As part of the herstoric celebrations of the centenary of Polish independence aiming primarily to restore the remembrance of native suffragettes who fought in the Polish independence movement at the turn of the 20th century for the establishment of full legal and social equality between men and women, hundreds of cultural, educational and political events are currently taking place across the country. One of them is HERSTORIADA, a series of Congress Meetings with Herstory in the form of a touring herstoric academy by the Women's Congress. 

By Gert Röhrborn

Polish Feminism. Memory and Dreams of a Free and Just Poland


This year is exceptional for Poland when it comes to celebrating historical memory. Multiple anniversaries awaiting us in 2018 provide ample opportunity to reflect on the contemporary meanings of all those diverse, laudable and difficult events from the modern history of Poland, that is, the centenary of end of World War I and the regaining of the Polish state’s independence in 1918, the 75th anniversary of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising and fiftieth anniversary of the communist regime’s antisemitic campaign against the student revolt of 1968.

By Gert Röhrborn
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Safeguarding Democracy in the European Union

Publication Series on Europe – Volume 9:

Liberal democracies are under pressure, both worldwide and in Europe. For example, in Hungary and Poland, farright nationalist to nationalistic parties are in government and propagate an ‘illiberal’ democracy. The dismantling of democracy in an EU member state is not a national problem – it is a European one. The study makes clear the dilemma in which the EU finds itself and what possibilities for action are available to it.


Upping the Ante on Bulk Surveillance

The precarious balance between the need for security and the right to privacy will continue to characterize “risk societies” of the 21st century. This compendium by Thorsten Wetzling and Kilian Vieth provides robust oversight practices and good laws that can serve as bulwarks against the erosion of fundamental rights in Europe and America.

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.


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
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Understanding political protest in Central Europe

Politics of protest

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
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