Unsung Hero Dialogues: Local Event on Civil Society in Thuringia

Podiumdiskussion „Zivilgesellschaft in Thüringen – ist das Kunst, oder kann das weg?“

The UHD project aims to challenge the working conditions for civil society workers, through awareness raising and policy reform. To help achieve this, there will be seven policy and awareness raising events in each partner country. These events will connect stakeholders to create a dialogue around this topic and generate policy proposals. The first local event of the UHD project took place online on Thursday evening in Thuringia, Germany. CGE-Erfurt is coordinating the UHD Project, which is funded by the Europe for Citizens program:

Podiumsdiskussion „Zivilgesellschaft in Thüringen – ist das Kunst, oder kann das weg?“

Panel Discussion ‘Civil Society in Thuringia – is that art or can we throw it away?’

Four different actors from the Thuringia civil society shared their opinions during our panel discussion whose title translates to ‘Civil Society in Thuringia – is this art or can we throw it away?’

  • Anna Allstädt, Project Manager Klanggerüst e.V.
  • Klaus Engelmann, Chairperson LV Deutsche Schreberjugend Thüringen e.V.
  • Steffen Präger, Managing Director Plattform e.V.
  • Falko Stolp, Headmaster Gemeinschaftsschule am Roten Berg

The panel discussed what civil society can do for Thuringia, and what Thuringia can do for civil society. With the discussion ranging from the value of civil society for its capacity to support democracy and build communities, to the importance of engaging young people within civil society, and the role of civil society in policy-making processes.

The focus of the event was on the question of what civil society actors actually are and how their social identification can be settled. It became clear that many civil society actors can no longer be assigned to conventional categories. Alongside traditional volunteers, a separate branch of professional and full-time social entrepreneurs has evolved, with an impact on civil society itself.

The dynamic evolution of these new actors, on the one hand, is contrasted by very little adapted structural framework conditions, especially in the areas of funding, evaluation or the relationship to citizen participation. The discussion, which was driven forward by many contributions from the audience, made one point clear: The development of new civil society actors raises the question of the ´rules of the game` and calls for a rethinking of the role and function of civil society in a democracy.

This event will be followed by several more in Germany and parallel events across Europe by the UHD partners. If you are interested in following the rest of the UHD project, and getting engaged in our future events, you can follow our facebook page.

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