Press Release 03/22/2018

Democracy under Pressure: Polarization and Repression Are Increasing Worldwide

Gütersloh (Germany) 22 March 2018.  The quality of democracy, market economy and governance has fallen to its lowest level in twelve years on a worldwide average. This is the key finding of the latest Transformation Index of the Bertelsmann Stiftung (BTI). Since 2006, it has regularly analyzed political and economic developments in 129 developing and transformation countries. Conclusion: 40 governments, including some of more advanced democracies, have curtailed the rule of law over the past two years, and 50 countries have seen restrictions on political freedoms. The rulers of many countries have addressed the global economic challenges only insufficiently and frequently on the backs of the poor and marginalized. Many governments are unable to respond adequately to the growing social, ethnic and religious conflicts – or oftentimes even foment these tensions.

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Kai Uwe Oesterhelweg

Press Release 03/13/2018

Promoting reform in times of change

Gütersloh – March 13, 2018. In 2017, the year it celebrated its 40th anniversary, the Bertelsmann Stiftung was engaged in some 70 projects in the areas of education, democracy, social affairs, health, culture and economics. It invested a total of €55 million directly in its program activities. The foundation currently has 380 employees. read more

Kai Uwe Oesterhelweg

Press Release 01/29/2018

Joachim Gauck receives 2018 Reinhard Mohn Prize

Gütersloh, January 29, 2018. This year's Reinhard Mohn Prize on the topic of "Living Diversity - Shaping Society" goes to former German President Joachim Gauck. In awarding him this prize, the Bertelsmann Stiftung recognizes Gauck as a bridge builder in a culturally diverse society. During his time in office, he focused on the successful coexistence of people from varying ethnic backgrounds and religions in Germany. In word and deed, he continually advocated for a new sense of unity that includes all people in Germany, regardless of their cultural identity. Gauck will receive the €200,000 award on June 7th in Gütersloh. read more

Getty Images/Cultura RF/Echo

Press Release 01/11/2018

Europeans see the EU as a protective umbrella in the era of globalization

Gütersloh, 11 January 2018. For many Europeans a policy of isolation and nationalism is not an appropriate response to the challenges of globalization. This is because, although almost half of all Europeans see globalization as a threat, the majority of them consider the EU to be part of the solution and not the problem. They expect European policy to concern itself above all with questions of security and migration. Economic questions and questions of social justice are considered to play a far less important role, irrespective of country of origin and party affinity. It is striking that whereas enthusiasm for the EU is crumbling in some right-of-center parties (FDP, Les Republicains), a broad majority of supporters of center-right to left parties support greater European cooperation. "In 2017 there is cross-party acceptance of Europe as a source of stability, prosperity and peace. That is one of Europe's successes. However, those voices that promise a future confrontation between nations instead of international togetherness have to be countered with persuasion, facts and open discussions. To do that, strong political leadership is also required", says our chairman and CEO Aart De Geus, commenting on the findings read more

IStockphoto / George Clerk

Press Release 11/16/2017

Nosedive halted: recovery on the labour market improves social justice in the EU

Gütersloh, November 16 , 2017. A discernible upward trend is emerging in the EU as regards social justice. This improvement in opportunities for social participation is mainly being driven by a marked recovery on the labour markets. Labour market data has improved year on year in 26 of the 28 EU states. The EU's average unemployment rate fell to 8.7 per cent in 2016, having stood at 11 per cent in 2013 at the height of the social crisis. However, the recovery is proceeding at two different speeds: the gap between northern and southern Europe remains substantial. Especially in the crisis-hit countries in the South, an above-average proportion of children and young people remain at risk of poverty and exclusion. These are the findings of the Social Justice Index 2017 – a tool which has been used annually since 2008 to analyse participation opportunities in the EU on the basis of 38 economic and social criteria. The Scandinavian countries Denmark, Sweden and Finland are once again at the top of the table this year. Despite some improvements, Greece continues to bring up the rear. read more

Besim Mazhiqi Fotograf

Press Release 10/15/2017

Svetlina Stoyanova and Cho ChanHee win 2017 NEUE STIMMEN International Singing Competition

Gütersloh – October 15, 2017. Svetlina Stoyanova, Mezzo-Soprano from Bulgaria and Bass Cho ChanHee from South Korea are the winners of the NEUE STIMMEN competition in its anniversary year. The two singers will receive a cash award of €15,000 each and an outstanding opportunity to pursue a career as an opera singer. On Saturday, five up-and-coming female singers and five rising male singers competed in the finals. The top three female and top three male performers received cash awards totaling €60,000. Additional prizes were awarded to the other finalists. read more

Besim Mazhiqi

Press Release 10/05/2017

NEUE STIMMEN International Singing Competition celebrates 30th anniversary and further develops support for young opera singers

Gütersloh – October 5, 2017. For 30 years, the NEUE STIMMEN International Singing Competition has served as a springboard and renowned platform for exceptionally talented next-generation singers. Initiated in 1987 with the goal of discovering well-trained young artists, above all in Europe, the competition has grown rapidly in the last three decades: In its first year, 36 singers applied to participate, while 1,430 contestants from 76 countries registered to take part in this year's anniversary event. Moreover, during the 17 competitions held, over 15,000 young talents have applied to participate. As the world of opera has grown increasingly international, NEUE STIMMEN has also continued to develop, with preliminary auditions, which are led by members of the NEUE STIMMEN jury, now taking place around the globe. In 2017, they were held in 24 cities, including New York, Los Angeles, Riga, Shanghai, London, Toronto, Moscow, Cape Town, Sydney and Berlin. Over the last three decades, 962 singers from  preliminary round auditions have been invited to Gütersloh for the final round. read more

Shutterstock / Hachi888

Press Release 09/12/2017

US economic isolation is detrimental to the global economy – and above all to the US itself

Gütersloh (Germany), 12 September 2017. Since Donald Trump was elected, there has been a growing risk of US trade policy increasingly relying on protectionist measures. The aim of this isolationist policy is to secure jobs and income at home. In reality, however, higher import duties and other import obstacles would mean that weakening of international trade triggered by the US would incur a loss of income worldwide, especially in the US. In the worst-case scenario for the United States, annual US economic output would drop by 2.3 percent in the long term. In today's terms, this would result in a loss of gross domestic product (GDP) to the tune of USD 415 billion. This is the key finding of a recent study by the ifo Institute on behalf of the Bertelsmann Stiftung. read more


Press Release 09/06/2017

Germans are more optimistic about their future than their European neighbours

Gütersloh (Germany), 6 September 2017. Unity and satisfaction at a time of upheaval – this, in a nutshell, describes the prevailing mood in Germany, according to the latest "eupinions" opinion poll by the Bertelsmann Stiftung. What is striking is that the Germans feel significantly more positive than their European neighbours and that they rate their own country much more highly than the EU. Moreover, the political centre is stronger in Germany than it is in any of the other major EU countries. The opinion poll results are representative of the EU as a whole as well as the six largest member states France, Germany, Great Britain, Italy, Poland and Spain read more


Press Release 08/24/2017

Clear Progress for Integration of Muslims in Western Europe

Gütersloh, August 24, 2017. The integration of Muslim immigrants in Western Europe is making clear progress. By the second generation at the latest, the majority have entered mainstream society. This is evident in the findings of the Bertelsmann Stiftung's Religion Monitor 2017, which investigated the language competence, education, working life and interreligious contacts of Muslims in France, the UK, Austria, Germany and Switzerland. The successful integration is all the more notable because none of these five countries offer consistently good opportunities for participation, and Muslims encounter open rejection from about one fifth of the population. read more