Issues relating to society's strategic goals and its potential solutions play a key role in policy debates. For Western democracies, uncertainty at home is fueled by the challenges resulting from globalization. Policymakers and other societal actors must walk the line between maintaining the status quo and accepting the need for change. In contrast to organizations focusing on primarily partisan and special interests, foundations carrying out independent, issue-oriented work are in a position to develop real, workable solutions.
Demographic change is the central challenge facing Germany and our society. The issue of demographic change is increasingly shaping the character of our political and social debate, since the future of our society depends on successfully meeting this challenge. Many decision makers have not yet realized that far more is at stake than securing our social systems.more
Given the constant changes impacting their societies, Western democracies now face similar challenges in terms of creating a framework that allows policymakers to respond to these challenges. Whether or not they are successful depends on a variety of factors. While institutional criteria and a country’s political culture provide guideposts for implementing reform, the use of modern governance tools to shape reform processes can greatly expand policymakers’ room for maneuver.more
Integration happens at the community level. Cities and towns can benefit from their new members—if they are able to maximize the potential of long-time as well as newly arrived residents. But integrating many different immigrant groups into the local resident population is not without its conflicts. The challenge is to develop integration as a community-wide effort under community management.more
The future of Europe has become a strategic policymaking activity. We need to set a new course in European policy and then see that it is realized. Shortly after the accession of 10 Central and Eastern European states to the EU, new candidates were already expressing an interest to join. The Bertelsmann Stiftung is analyzing the process of European integration and formulating recommendations for reforming policy management and steering within the enlarged Europe.more
The world is getting smaller – economically, socially, politically. The ability to achieve international understanding is becoming more important as the challenges of our new world transcend national borders. For this reason, the Bertelsmann Stiftung is formulating new approaches to intergovernmental and international governance, developing strategies for peaceful conflict resolution and supporting those countries making their way toward democracy and a market economy.more