We fight for a vibrant democracy and defend those standing up for it.
Why we stand up for a vibrant democracy
Which problems are we addressing and what is the starting point?
Democracy and freedom need to be filled with life and require protection. This demands a brave and strong civil society. All people need to be able to protest peacefully without fear, as well as being able to make political misconduct public. There also needs to be the opportunity to pursue a cause together with others and to raise public awareness of it.
Many individuals, organisations and initiatives shape our democracy. Their commitment, their protest and their knowledge are central to controlling public and private power. In Germany, citizens take responsibility every day by campaigning for environmental protection, social issues or political education. Independent journalists expose misconduct, corruption and crime - often with the help of courageous whistleblowers. They all have a right to recognition, protection and security to continue to participate critically and loudly, both individually and collectively.
Under the current law, it can become a problem for politically involved associations if they take too strong of a political stance. Whistleblowers not only risk professional disadvantages, but also have to fear being punished if they draw attention to misconduct. Freedom of the press, freedom of expression and freedom of assembly are also restricted, especially where they are inconvenient - and therefore particularly important. In addition to the state, private actors are increasingly becoming a threat to free communication in democracy.
What precisely are we doing to solve the problem? What is the GFF's role?
We stand with those who fill our democracy with life: journalists and whistleblowers, individuals and organisations working to strengthen democracy, scientists and artists. When the government systematically violates their civil liberties or unlawfully restricts their freedom of action, we oppose it with strategic litigation and legal interventions. A resilient, vibrant democracy needs individuals and groups that dedicate themselves to democratic values.
Which rights do we promote?
Civil liberties are the heart of a vibrant democracy based on the rule of law. They prohibit the government from intimidating or persecuting people simply because they have a different opinion or are a thorn in its side for other reasons. Fundamental rights protect all people from the state overstepping boundaries - and becoming dangerous to us.
The fundamental and human rights enshrined in the Basic Law include, for example, freedom of expression, freedom of the press and freedom of science in Article 5 of the Basic Law, and freedom of assembly in Article 8 of the Basic Law. Binding international human rights treaties such as the UN Civil Covenant and the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) also oblige the German government to respect and protect civil and political liberties, thus enabling democratic participation. By guiding the interpretation of laws, freedoms can also limit the power of private actors.