“In the service of democracy, peace and development” – this motto is present in the work and mission of the Hanns Seidel Foundation. This motto applies both to its domestic activities – especially Bavaria – as well as its engagements abroad.
Former German President Roman Herzog once described “education on democracy” as a “permanent and intrinsic duty of political foundations”. It contributes to “citizens of an open society being able to participate in the democratic development process with as much knowledge as possible”.
Understanding of democracy must be secured again with each generation. Political contexts must be made clear, especially to young people. Only then can they be motivated to get involved themselves and take on responsibility. To put it briefly: Democracy needs political education.
Lobbying like this for our democracy and our social order that celebrates freedom and the rule of law also involves reassuring our citizens of this and anchoring in their consciousness the tenets and standards of our polity. The profound and rapid shift our country is currently experiencing reinforces the need for value orientation and rooting ourselves in reliable structures and straightforward regulatory frameworks. To put it another way: The growing pressure to innovate facing the State, society, the economy, science and technology makes returning to our historical roots and our intellectual and cultural foundations all the more necessary.
Since its founding on 11 April 1967, the Hanns Seidel Foundation has been engaged in political education with the aim of promoting the “democratic and civic education of the German people on a Christian basis” , to quote its statutes. The foundation, which is politically aligned with the CSU, is named after the former Bavarian prime minister and CSU chairman, Hanns Seidel. Political foundations are financially, legally and organisationally independent of each party, although they do operate within the bounds of their respective party’s ideology. The Hanns Seidel Foundation embodies Christian-social values, which influence our work both domestically and abroad.
The Hanns Seidel Foundation’s political education work is based on an idea of man that incorporates the free development of personality and personal responsibility just as much as social responsibility and solidarity. Particularly in our own era, a time in which we need greater individual responsibility, our mission is to do even more to bring about a new “culture of independence” and an “active civil society”, now more than ever.