Termine | Occasion and Objective | 06. Dezember 2018

Occasion and Objective

Occasion and Objective

In recent years churches and diaconia in Europe have been important actors and partners in civil society, politics and educational institutions to fight right-wing extremism, discrimination and hate. The extent of involvement varies, but in times of growing populist tendencies, this common cause and engagement is more important than ever. There is also an increased desire to form alliances, exchange of ideas and come together to fight hate in all its forms.


The phenomenon of right-wing populism poses a relatively new challenge to European politics and socie-ties, as populists are not only in the margins of our societal and political structures any more. Populism is increasingly mainstreamed and many European countries have seen the rise of populism in society and in govern-ment. Populist parties and movements are aiming to influence the European agenda in a negative way and in extreme cases can sabotage and paralyse well-establis-hed democratic structures and decision-making processes.

Situations vary from country to country, and so do the counter strategies and approaches. Networking, joint strategy planning and the exchange of knowledge and plans of action are vital to strengthen positive democratic powers in the whole of Europe. This conference wants to bring together high-profile stakeholders from the churches and diaconia in Europe, from civil society and politics to join in a mutual effort to keep human dignity, civil rights and democratic values at the heart of our societies. It wants to provide a space for exchange, for debating which strategy is working and which one is not. We will discuss recent developments under the hypothesis that the different things happening might not be so different after all – that there are at least some common roots and similar causes.


National Working Group on Church and Rightwing Extremism (BAGKR) Diakonie Deutschland, Project »Shaping diversity - Resi-sting exclusion: Diaconia in post-migrant society« Eurodiaconia Friedrich Ebert Foundation, EU Office Brussels Friedrich Ebert Foundation, Project against right-wing extremism

Conference venue:

House of the Protestant Church in Germany (EKD)

Rue Joseph II 166 B-1000 Brussels


Participants are asked to organise their travel arran-gements individually. Costs of board and lodging for registered participants will be covered by the organisers. There is no participation fee for this event. Please register at: https://bagkr.de/applicationeurope/

Contact and Information:

Henning Flad National Working Group on Church and Rightwing Extremism (Bundesarbeitsgemeinschaft Kirche & Rechts-extremismus) c/o Aktion Sühnezeichen Friedensdienste e. V. Auguststraße 80, 10117 Berlin, Germany T +49 30 2 83 95-178 post[at]bagkr.de


Wednesday, 5th December 2018

For those arriving in Brussels early, there will be a non-formal, unofficial opening of the conference (at own cost) with a get together dinner (7pm) and a reception (9:30pm)

Thursday, 6th December 2018

10:00 am  

Introduction & Welcome by the Organisers

10:30 am   

Organisers Opening Input»What we are dealing with?«  

Terminology,phenomena and a general overview on the current situation in Europe regarding right-wing populism and  extremism

Prof. em. Dr. Hajo Funke, Political Scientist, Freie Universität Berlin Berlin

11:30 am                  

Country Reports


Martin Schenk-Mair, Deputy Director Diakonie Austria Sweden

Anna-Lena Lodenius, Journalist and Author

1:00 pm             Lunch

2:00 pm              

Country Reports


András Bíró-Nagy, Co-Director and Head of Research of Policy Solutions


Prof. Dr. Jean-Yves Camus, Political Analyst and Associate Research Fellow at The French Institute for International and Strategic Affairs (IRIS)


3:00 pm              

coffee break

3:30 pm                

Panel Discussion»Is Europe turning right? How to tackle right-wing populism together«

Michaël Privot, Director European Network Against Racism (ENAR)

 Heather Roy, Secretary General of Eurodia­conia Representative of the European Parliament (tbc)Representative of the European Commission (tbc)

Moderation: Katharina Wegner, EU-Representative of Diakonie Deutschland

5:30 pm              

Free time for networking

7:00 pm              

Reception and Evening Event


Programme: Friday, 7th December 2018

 9:30 am                 

Introduction into Day 2

9:40 am                 

Input »The Russian influence on the Far Right in Europe«Dr. Andreas Umland, Political Scientist, Institute for Euro-Atlantic Cooperation Kyiv, Ukraine  

10:40 am                        

Coffee Break

11:00 am                              

Presentation »How the programme „Demokratie leben!“ (Live Democracy!) shapes democracy and civil society in Germany« Thomas Heppener, German Federal Ministry for Family Affairs, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth  

12:00 pm                              


1:00 pm                                 

Exchange and Cooperative Consultation»What to do, what not to do«Henning Flad, Bundesarbeitsgemeinschaft Kirche und RechtsextremismusIngo Grastorf, Diakonie DeutschlandFranziska Schröter, Friedrich-Ebert-Stif­tungFlorian Tuder, Eurodiaconia  

3:00 pm                 

End of Conference






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