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About the Dialogue on Germany’s Future

The Dialogue on Germany’s Future

What will Germany look like in five or ten years time? How do we want to live as we approach the end of this decade? The Chancellor discussed these questions between May 2011 and July 2012 with more than 120 experts, academics and practitioners, under the banner "Human and successful. A Dialogue on Germany’s Future".

The focus was on three major issues:

1. How do we want to live together in future?
2. How do we want to earn a living?
3. How do we want to learn?

The Chancellor, however, not only wanted to talk to academics and practitioners about Germany’s future. She wanted to hear the ideas of the people of Germany, and civil society, and she wanted to discuss these ideas with them. This is why a National Dialogue on Germany’s Future was established alongside the dialogue of experts.

The National Dialogue on Germany’s Future

All citizens were free to submit their own proposals for the Dialogue on Germany’s Future between 1 February and 15 April 2012 using the internet platform "".

The idea was to concentrate on concrete proposals for action, ideally ones that gave national level politicians specific ideas – opening up an opportunity for the Chancellor to pursue these ideas further, either by changing ordinances or acts of parliament, or by supporting or launching a specific initiative.

The citizens who submitted the ten proposals deemed best by users were invited to the Federal Chancellery to discuss their ideas directly with the Chancellor. The same invitation was extended to those submitting the ten proposals deemed most promising by the independent experts involved in the Experts Dialogue on Germany's Future and the staff of the Press and Information Office of the Federal Government after careful review.

You can continue to read and comment on the proposals made. Only the online voting facility was discontinued on 15 April. The editorial blog will keep you up to date on the Dialogue on Germany's Future.

The aim of the Dialogue on Germany’s Future is to trigger a controversial discussion across the whole of society about the immediate future of Germany and to produce ideas or even specific proposals for action to be taken at political level.

Three broad topic areas

The Dialogue on Germany’s Future deals with three broad topic areas, each of which embrace several very concrete questions:

How do we want to work together? What fosters cohesion within society? How can we encourage families to have more children and how can we become more family-friendly? How can state and society together make for greater security, e.g. in the residential environment, on the streets and in local public transport? How can citizen participation be better organised in specific terms?

How do we want to make a living? What are Germany’s strengths on the world market? How can we remain curious and innovative and use these properties to earn money? What can employers, employees and the state do to make working life safer, more secure and more attractive?

How do we want to learn? How should values be communicated in practical terms? How can we all learn better – both in professional and private lives? What role does the internet play? How can we improve professional learning? How can we provide better assistance for unemployed young people?

What is happening now?

All proposals were reviewed at the end of the proposal phase on 15 April. A response was sent to every proposal submitted.

The proposals of the experts

Between early 2011 and July 2012, a total of 133 experts worked to draw up concrete policy proposals in each of the three topic areas. At a closing event of the Dialogue on Germany’s Future on 18 August in Berlin, they presented their final report to the Chancellor.

Book on Dialogue on Germany’s Future

The book entitled "Dialog über Deutschlands Zukunft" (Dialogue on Germany’s Future) was published on 3 July 2012 by the Hamburg-based publisher Murmann-Verlag. The Chancellor is named as editor. The main author of the book, the freelance journalist Christoph Schlegel, describes for instance what went on behind the scenes during the Dialogue on Germany’s Future, how the consultations of experts progressed and how the discussion proceeded during the online dialogue.

A new sort of participation

The Dialogue on Germany’s Future is a form of participation that has not hitherto been known in Germany. It involves a new culture of listening and a new form of dialogue. The Dialogue on Germany’s Future is an experiment, which relies heavily on a process of working together and discussion. It does not try to eliminate effort, and focuses above all on one thing – learning more. It does not provide for classical government commission reports and papers hammered out as a consensus that can be accepted by all parties.

Additional Information

The Experts Dialogue on Germany’s Future

Parallel to the public dialogue over 120 experts from academia and industry have addressed the three issues of the future. Find out more about their work.

learn more: The Experts Dialogue on Germany’s Future …

The Report

Federal Chancellor‘s Experts‘ Dialogue


Breaking new ground

More than 100 representatives of the business community, the realms of politics, civil society and the research community from inside and outside Germany met at the Federal Chancellery for the first International German Forum hosted by Chancellor Angela Merkel.

learn more: Breaking new ground …

We thank you for your proposals.

Find out more about the implementation of proposals by subscribing to the newsletter.

An overview of the Dialogue on Germany’s Future

  • May 2011

    Experts Dialogue on Germany’s Future
  • 01. February 2012

    National Dialogue on Germany’s Future
  • 29. February 2012

    Citizens' Dialogue
    in Erfurt
  • 14. March 2012

    Citizens' Dialogue
    in Heidelberg
  • 28. March 2012

    Citizens' Dialogue
    in Bielefeld
  • 15. April 2012

    End of the proposal phase, online dialogue
  • 15. May 2012

  • 7. June 2012

  • 2. July 2012

  • 3. July 2012

    meets online
    Evaluation of proposals
  • 28. August 2012

    Experts present final report Newsletter
Menschlich und erfolgreich

Dialog über Deutschlands Zukunft