With our project, Demokratie? Eine Frage der Verfassung! (Democracy? A Question of Constitution!), we are planning a series of civic debates on our society, how we have been shaped by our history, and how we would like to shape our future state and constitution.
On the occasion of the recent 70th anniversary of the Grundgesetz (Basic Law’s), we are also focusing on the role it plays in these questions. We are using the anniversary years of 2019/2020 to bring communities together and begin a multi-faceted and spirited conversation. What is the state of our democracy? How democratic is our state? How important are the values and principles formulated in the Basic Law for our daily life? Where do constitutional rights diverge from social reality? What could or should we change in the Basic Law in light of the open wounds of re-unified German history since 1990?
Six interactive events were initially planned throughout Germany for this purpose, which we wanted to hold mainly in the rural areas of the republic. Due to the Corona pandemic, we had to reschedule in spring 2020 and instead launched a survey on the restrictions on basic rights implemented by the government because of Corona. We also held an essay competition on the topic. An event on the subject of electoral law and the German basic law (Grundgesetz) was held in Bielefeld in September. Further events are planned for 2021, depending of course on the further course of the pandemic. In this context we have also published an essay by Dr. Claudia Gatzka (historian at the University of Freiburg) in our online magazine.
Survey and study: Freedom in uncertain times
In spring 2020 we developed a questionnaire that looked at the restrictions due to the Corona pandemic and the Basic Law during the first lockdown in Germany.. The survey was completed on 31 July 2020 with almost 3,000 participants. Over 2,000 people completed the questionnaire in full. Dr Sebastian Rottinghaus analysed the results for us in a study.
We published his report in December 2020.
„Du hast die Wahl!“ – Democracy workshop in Bielefeld
With „Du hast die Wahl!“ WIR MACHEN DAS held an event in Bielefeld shortly before the local elections in North Rhine-Westphalia in September 2020. Youths and young adults had a lively exchange on the topic of elections. In the context of the event, historian Dr Claudia Gatzka (University of Freiburg) published an essay in our online magazine at the beginning of November 2020 in which she discusses why voting is not everything.
Essay competition: Forty essays submitted, four have been published
#Corona pandemic: What is the foundation of a good constitution in difficult times? And under what circumstances are we voluntarily prepared to give up individual rights? In the framework of our project Democracy? A Question of Constitution! we have been sent around 40 essays dealing with the foundations of democracy and freedom. We have selected four essays and published them here.
The German Basic Law (Grundgesetz) and the corona virus – Documentation of a debate
From mid-March to the end of May 2020, we spent ten weeks documenting the intensive debate on the political reactions to the corona pandemic and the German Constitution with selected contributions. The more than 60 texts provide impressive evidence of how controversial this debate was. And they show that a resilient democracy needs a resilient constitution.
A project from WIR MACHEN DAS in collaboration with Bielefeld University and the Robert-Havemann-Gesellschaft, supported by the Federal Agency for Civic Education.