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Has the national government developed policies/programmes aimed at combating racism and related ideologies? Have these policies/programmes been implemented and in whatway?

Key Area:
Anti-racist Policies & Organisations
22/01/2013 - 16:19
Short Answer

Yes. The Federal Government of Germany has implemented and established different kinds of programmes, institutions and policies opposing racism and related ideologies.

Qualitative Info

A) In January 2011, the two programmes aimed at combating racism “Diversity is Benificial. Youth for variety, tolerance and democracy” (Vielfalt tut gut. Jugend für Vielfalt, Toleranz und Demokratie) and “Competent for Democracy – Networks for advice against right-wing extremism” (Kompetent für Demokratie – Beratungsnetzwerke gegen Rechtsextremismus) which were established by the national government for a period from 2007 to 2010, were merged into the new programme “Supporting Tolerance– Empowering Competence” (Toleranz fördern – Kompetenz Stärken, TFKS), which the national government supports financially with EUR 24 million in the period 2011 – 2013.

The programme has three main objectives : 1) To support the development and sustainable protection of action plans implemented to strengthen democracy and tolerance at local levels. The programme also 2) promotes pilot projects which develop and test innovative approaches aimed at combating right-wing extremism, xenophobia and anti-Semitism. Last but not least it 3) sponsors and establishes help desks, a measure which focuses on the qualification of the advisers.
Especially children and youths, but also parents and pedagogues as well as important participants of the state and civil society are supposed to be addressed by this programme (TFKS 2011a).
It is yet too early to assess the impact of the programme.


B) Promoted by the European Social Fund, the programme XENOS has been working against discrimination, racism and xenophobia at the intersection of education systems and labour markets since 2001. Three main projects characterise the activities of XENOS in the period from 2007 to 2013: The programme promotes 1) the general integration of young people with migrant backgrounds into society, particularly into the labour market. This project is called “XENOS – integration and diversity ” (XENOS – Integration und Vielfalt). 2) The second project addresses young people who left the right-wing extremist scene. “XENOS – exit to entry” (XENOS – Ausstieg zum Einstieg) supports former right-wing youths looking for suitable jobs at the beginning of their careers . The last programme supports 3) refugees and foreigners entitled to permanent residency with access to the labour market (BMAS 2009, p.207).

C) Since 2000, the “Alliance for Democracy and Tolerance – against Extremism and Violence” BfDT (Bündnis für Demokratie und Toleranz - gegen Extremismus und Gewalt) which was established by the Federal Ministry of Justice and the Federal Ministry of the Interior, organises a conference for young people each year. It also awards the prize of “Ambassador for Democracy and Tolerance” (Botschafter für Demokratie und Toleranz) to outstanding people and initiatives implementing the principles of the constitution in everyday life. Furthermore, the alliance funds a large number of different projects as well as some competitions in the field of democracy and tolerance (BMAS 2009, p.206). These activities have the common purpose of illustrating societal efforts to strengthen democracy and tolerance and of promoting further initiatives in this field (BfDT 2011).

D) A platform for dialogue has been offered by the “Forum against Racism” (Forum gegen Rassismus), established in 1998. The forum covers about 30 governmental as well as 60 nongovernmental organisations combating intolerance and violence against migrants and ethnic minorities (BMAS 2009, p.206). Twice a year, the forum holds meetings and discusses questions concerning racism, xenophobia, anti-Semitism, intolerance etc (BMI 2011a).


E) The Federal Anti-Discrimination Agency (FADA, Antidiskriminierungsstelle des Bundes, ADS) is Germany’s first nationwide statutory anti-discrimination body. It has been installed in 2006 as the official equality body on the basis of the General Equal Treatment Act (AGG). The ADSs main objective is to provide assistance to persons who have experienced discrimination. It is further engaged in awareness raising activities, carries out and commissions research on various facets of discrimination.


F) Since 2009, the ”Independent Expert Group Anti-Semitism” (Unabhängiger Expertenkreis Antisemitismus),commissioned by the Federal Government, has been analysing anti-Semitic developments in Germany. The ten experts of the working group also evaluate initiatives against any kind of anti-Jewish attitudes and develop new concepts aimed at combating anti-Semitism (Peucker/Camp/Lechner 2010, p.71).


G) The “Federal Agency for Civic Education” (Bundeszentrale für politische Bildung), an institution of the Federal Ministry of the Interior, provides information on extremism, thus making a contribution to the education of society (BMAS 2009, p.206).


H) The German Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution (Bundesverfassungsschutz) supports the efforts to combat right-wing extremism, xenophobia, anti-Semitsm and Islamophobia by observing persons, groups and organisations which are under suspicion of having a tendency to support extremist ideologies. Moreover, the Office prosecutes right-wing extremist, xenophobic and anti-Semitic crimes, prevents events of these milieus and informs the public society by publishing an overview each year (BMAS 2009, p.208). Yet, the detection of the right-wing terrorist organisation ’National Socialist Underground’ (Nationalsozialistischer Untergrund, NSU), whose members are accused of committing several murders between 2000 and 2007, has triggered a nationwide debate on the role of the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution (Bundesamt für Verfasssungsschutz, BfV) and other intelligence agencies in the Länder. The on-going investigations reveal more and more failures and shortcomings and raise questions about the involvement of the Office for the Protection of the Constitution and their paid informants within the far-right scene. Moreover, it was found that the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution (Bundesamt für Verfasssungsschutz, BfV) destroyed relevant documents after the detection of the NSU.


I) In order to send a sign against right-wing extremist violence, the federal government offers one-off financial compensation to victims of right-wing extremism, racism and xenophobia who can apply for these payments .Until now compensations ranged from 100 to 250.000 Euro for insults and grievous bodily injury (BMAS 2009, p.207).


Many programmes address young people. Nevertheless, there are just as many projects which target public society as a whole. Most of these programmes involve migrants, refugees, ethnic as well as religion minorities.
Especially racist violence, xenophobia and anti-Semitism are addressed.
There are particular projects concerning employment and labour market issues, education, political participation and integration.


  1. Antidiskriminierungsstelle des Bundes (2011a), available at: (accessed on 02.09.2011).
  2. Antidiskriminierungsstelle des Bundes (2011b), available at: (accessed on 09.12.2011).
  3. Antidiskriminierungsstelle des Bundes (2011c), available at: (accessed on 02.09.2011).
  4. Bündnis für Demokratie und Toleranz (2011), available at: (accessed on 01.09.2011).
  5. Bundesministerium des Innern (2011a): Forum gegen Rassismus. Available at: (accessed on 01.09.2011).
  6. Bundesministerium des Innern (2011a): Der unabhängige Expertenkreis Antisemitismus. Available at: (accessed on 02.09.2011).
  7. Bundesministerium für Arbeit und Soziales (2009): Sozialbericht 2009. Available at: (accessed on 01.09.2011).
  8. Peucker, Mario / Camp, Joseph / Lechner, Claudia (2010): RAXEN 2010. Thematic Study: Racist and related hate crimes in the EU. Germany. Bamberg: european forum for migration studies (efms).
  9. Toleranz fördern – Kompetenz stärken (2011a), available at: (accessed on 01.09.2011).
  10. Toleranz fördern – Kompetenz stärken (2011b), available at: (accessed on 01.09.2011).
  11. Toleranz fördern – Kompetenz stärken (2011c), available at: (accessed on 01.09.2011).
  12. Toleranz fördern – Kompetenz stärken (2011d), available at: (accessed on 01.09.2011).
  13. XENOS (2011a), available at: (accessed on 02.09.2010).
  14. Federal Parliament (Bundestag) (2012) ‘Schnelle Aufklärung der Aktenvernichtung gefordert’, available at: (accessed on 13.01.2013).
  15. Federal Parliament (Bundestag) BT-Drs. 17/10585, 31 August 2012, p. 22, available at: (accessed on 13.01.2013).                                                                           Federal Parliament (Bundestag) BT- Drs. 17/8453, 21 January 2012, available at: (accessed on 13.01.2013).

Groups affected/interested Migrants, Refugees, Roma & Travelers, Muslims, Ethnic minorities, Religious minorities, Linguistic minorities, Asylum seekers
Type (R/D) Extremism - organised Racist Violence, Anti-migrant/xenophobia, Anti-semitism
Key socio-economic / Institutional Areas Employment - labour market, Education, Political participation, Anti-discrimination, Anti-racism, Integration - social cohesion
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