Brand New Agenda
A future program for everyone
Preface - The future begins today.
We are in a time of multiple crises. The climate crisis is already causing irreversible damage to critical ecosystems. A war is raging on Europe’s external border that has heralded the end of the European post-war order. The pandemic is still not over, the social crisis is intensifying and is being exacerbated by the drastic increase in the cost of living. Each of these crises poses an existential challenge to our society, and at the same time underpins the need for profound change. Two things unite all these and other crises: First, they were, at least in part, predictable and preventable. Second, they can only be overcome together and through a systemic, holistic approach. For this, we need to initiate a fundamental transformation of our way of doing business and living. For this transformation to succeed, we need a bold, future-proof plan and new pragmatic forms of trans-sectoral cooperation to implement it. As societal challenges are constantly evolving, the programme should be seen as a living document, constantly evolving and adapting to changing circumstances.
The Brand New Agenda was developed in a co-creative process that included the perspectives of civil society actors as well as politics, science and business. This development process and the resulting programme demonstrate the unity and willingness of civil society to face the challenges of the 21st century together and to tackle the transformations with courage.
The Brand New Agenda formulates a clear vision and a common goal for a viable, sustainable Germany with equal rights for all. In doing so, it adopts a holistic perspective across all relevant policy fields, thereby and thus does justice to the complex interaction of ecological, economic and social processes. Political goals are defined for central future fields, which together form a work programme for the transformation towards a sustainable society. The Brand New Agenda underlines the commonalities in the aspirations and ambitions of future-oriented civil society and formulates an offer to all political actors to overcome old thought patterns, political divides and social camps in order to achieve solidarity in the name of the future.
Download the Brand New Agenda as PDF here (German version) .
The climate crisis is the existential challenge of our time. Despite all the warnings over the past decades, we have failed to react early and to initiate a sustainable transformation towards climate neutrality. This is also why heat records, extreme weather events like the flood summer of 2021 and water shortages are part of the ‘new normal’. In order to prevent a further intensification of the climate crisis and to ensure the livability of current and future generations, a transformation of society as a whole and of the economy is needed. We cannot reverse the global temperature rise that has been documented for decades, we cannot restore irreversible damage to ecosystems due to climate tipping points that have been passed – but we can still influence the extent of the catastrophe. We have little time to do so. The already noticeable consequences of the climate crisis show how expensive it is and how much more expensive it will become not to act. To safeguard life on our planet in the long term, we must act now, decisively and consistently.
German policymakers have committed to meeting the 1.5 degree target and have accepted a national CO2 budget as part of this. This promise must be kept and taken into account with foresight in the planning of future legislation, expenditures and investments in order to make an effective contribution to preventing the climate crisis, to maintain trust in democratic process and to live up to international responsibility.
Germany must become climate neutral as soon as possible, by 2035 at the latest. To achieve this, the climate crisis must be understood as a cross-cutting issue and a far-reaching transformation of all economic sectors and social dimensions must be initiated. The direct impacts of the climate crisis first and disproportionately affect the socio-economically weaker sections of this country and the world. As one of the main polluters, Germany has a duty of solidarity and compensation. This means supporting those affected both in Germany and worldwide and distributing transformation costs in a socially just manner.
The expansion of renewable energies is central to meeting the 1.5 degree limit. By 2035, 100% of the energy demand must be covered by renewable sources. The phase-out of coal combustion must take place by 2030, the phase-out of the use of fossil gas for electricity generation by 2035.
All climate-damaging subsidies, expenditures and tax privileges, especially for fossil energy sources, must be abolished as quickly as possible. Further incentives for climate-conscious behaviour and economic activity must be created, for example through a CO2 price with a steering effect in all sectors. At the same time, the pricing must be socially just, for example through per capita repayments and the provision of climate-friendly alternatives, for example for mobility and heating.
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Germany has a poverty problem. The social situation has deteriorated in recent decades: More and more people are slipping below the poverty line and finding themselves there for longer and longer. More than every fifth child grows up in poverty. That is more than 2.8 million children and young people under the age of 18 who are systematically denied opportunities. At the same time, incomes are more unequally distributed today than they were two to three decades ago – even before the pandemic, more than 8% of those in work were at risk of poverty, and during the pandemic this has worsened. Wealth distribution in Germany is persistently highly concentrated and more unequal than in almost all other countries in Europe. This fosters tension and division that endangers social cohesion in the long run. Current crises further highlight and exacerbate socio-economic disparities: while companies are posting large profits, it is mainly lower- and middle-income households that are disproportionately affected by the Covid-19 pandemic. We are already seeing similar effects with the looming inflation and energy crises.
Basic income support needs a comprehensive reform, in the course of which the subsistence minimum is recalculated and sanctions are abolished. Basic income support must go beyond the physical subsistence level so that social, cultural and political participation as well as a life in dignity can be guaranteed for all people. In addition, the dismantling of barriers and all discriminatory structures in basic income support is necessary in order to create real equality of opportunity. Also because children are disproportionately affected by poverty, there is a need for an income-based, basic income support for children so that no child has to grow up in poverty. The cost of living, especially for vulnerable groups, must be kept stable even in times of crisis.
A reduction of employment in the low-wage sector in favour of regular and well-paid employment subject to social security contributions is necessary to counteract the deterioration of the social situation in Germany. Precarious forms of employment must be reduced. In addition, flexible, fair and needs-based working models are needed to enable adaptation to different life realities. The expansion of co-determination in the work context must be promoted.
The collapse of the pay-as-you-go pension system has been foreseeable for a long time. The core problem is that the number of contributors is steadily declining and that contributions have long been insufficient to cover the claims of pensioners. In order to effectively counteract old-age poverty and establish intergenerational justice, Germany needs a fundamental reform of the pension system and the transfer to a common insurance system for all. A needs-based further development of the basic pension is indispensable for this.
Economy, Finance and Fiscal Policy
Our economic system is based on an empty promise: Unlimited growth increases the prosperity of all in the long term. At the same time, we are consuming the finite resources of our planet ever faster and robbing current and future generations of their livelihoods. At the same time, only a few benefit from economic growth – wealth inequality remains at a high level and even increased during the pandemic. For economic change to finally address pressing environmental and social issues, the state must take on a greater regulatory role and ensure that all actors are accountable for the environmental and social costs of their actions and that generated wealth benefits all.
For a sustainable country, we need an ecological-social transformation of the economy, a fiscal policy that enables the necessary investments and a tax system that distributes the financing of public goods and the community fairly on the shoulders of all.
Our goal is an economy that guarantees quality of life for all – both in the present and for future generations. Public goods and infrastructure must remain in public hands or be transferred to them. The one-sided focus on economic growth as an indicator of prosperity must be broadened to include factors such as gender equality, mental health and care work. The systematic and complete internalisation of external costs, such as resource consumption or CO2 emissions, as well as the quickest possible end to all environmentally harmful subsidies are absolutely necessary for this. We need a sustainable financial system that ensures that any private-sector capital allocation does not hinder the transformation, but on the contrary actively promotes it.
State investments in digitalisation, climate protection, economic transformation and education must urgently be made possible in order to make our planet and our society future-proof. Abolishing the debt brake is essential.
A fair tax system must provide more relief for low and middle incomes, while top earners and the very wealthy must be made to pay more, for example through higher inheritance and top taxes or the abolition of VAT on basic foodstuffs. Capital gains must be taxed more heavily and progressively compared to labour. Tax avoidance and evasion must be combated more effectively.
An economic system that is partly based on systematically exploiting labour and natural resources in other parts of the world has no future. Trade liberalisation is only effective if sustainable development and environmental and human rights standards are guaranteed.
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Digitalisation is triggering a profound transformation of our economic system, our social coexistence and the relationship between the individual and the state. In addition to many opportunities, such as increased efficiency or the elimination of monotonous work rhythms, digitalisation brings major challenges that we must proactively address: New technologies promote unprecedented mass surveillance and privacy intrusions; artificial intelligence and algorithmic systems reinforce existing patterns of discrimination; a lack of interoperability and standards in software and hardware create unsustainable parallel structures.
Digital space and social networks are becoming more and more important for the formation of public opinion and social participation. At the same time, political processes are influenced by disinformation and digital violence leads to users increasingly withdrawing from discourse for fear of attacks. This poses a threat to freedom of expression and democracy. To counteract this development, social networks must be regulated more strongly, contact points for victims of digital violence must be created, and law enforcement in the digital space must be ensured. In addition, it is essential that digital skills are promoted throughout society.
Digital networking along the value chain, Industry 4.0, Internet-of-Things and the platform economy are fundamentally changing the way we do business. The political framework must be set in such a way that a further concentration of power and wealth is avoided and instead everyone can benefit from the potential of this change, for example through data trustee models. At the same time, sustainability must be structurally anchored in IT projects, from system design and procurement to the avoidance of duplicate structures and development. In regulations in the economic sector, e.g. on home office, employees and employers must be involved on an equal footing.
Liberal democracies have the task of strengthening and protecting civil and human rights in the digital space. These must not be curtailed by either private or state actors. This requires effective regulation of private companies – which must be consistently implemented – as well as clear and verifiable limits for state surveillance. Germany must also advocate for effective standards at European and international level to ensure an open, free and democratic internet. Civil society must be involved in decision-making processes appropriately and at an early stage and supported in its global commitment to digital citizens’ rights.
Digitalisation offers many opportunities to bring public administration closer to its citizens, make it more efficient and more agile. At the same time, barrier-free and human-centred design must be used to ensure the participation of older people and those with less digital affinity. The Online Access Act must be implemented and the necessary legal, organisational and financial framework conditions for municipalities must be created. Beyond the Online Access Act, administrative processes must be digitised and transformed, with a focus on standardisation, interoperability and platform solutions. The principle of public money – public code/data must apply to publicly funded IT and data collection.
Asylum and migration
At the present time, more people are fleeing than ever before. The advancing climate crisis, ongoing conflicts and exploitative policies of the Global North threaten to escalate this development further. At the same time, the current European border and asylum policy is contrary to human rights and breaks with the Basic Law.
Instead of guaranteeing their rights, those seeking protection are violently prevented from exercising their right to asylum at the external borders by fences and border guards. Both when trying to cross European borders and after reaching Europe, they are sometimes severely mistreated and detained in degrading conditions. The government continues to deliberately fail to guarantee safe and legal escape routes for all and to provide adequate reception processes and facilities, with significant involvement of the persons concerned. Refugees are isolated during the asylum process in Germany in AnkER centres and other collective accommodation, are not allowed to work and receive only low social benefits.
While there is a great willingness among the population for an open immigration policy, the political framework remains stuck in old patterns. The development towards a modern immigration society, which does not see integration as a debt to be paid, but which focuses on equal opportunities for all people, must be made possible. Integration and participation of immigrants must be understood and lived as the core of our culture.
Asylum is a human right. Legal and safe escape routes must be created for all, guaranteeing the real enjoyment of the right to asylum. In particular, the safety of women, minors and LGBTQIA+ persons on the run must be given greater consideration. Equal treatment of those seeking protection must be guaranteed, regardless of origin and reason for flight. Policies of externalisation and migration prevention, for example through third country agreements, are in clear contradiction and must be ended immediately. Frontex as the European Border Management Agency is systematically involved in human rights violations and cannot be reformed. The German government must accordingly end its participation in all Frontex missions. Civilian sea rescue and other assistance must not be further criminalised. The German government must work to ensure that the duty of sea rescue is once again assumed by the state and does not have to be organised by civil society due to state failure.
Protection seekers need solidarity-based support and the prospect of staying. This requires fair and speedy asylum procedures that meet the individual needs of those seeking protection and ensure their integrity through independent counselling and monitoring. Access to education, housing, health and work as well as social and political participation must be made possible and ensured from the very beginning in an unbureaucratic manner. The existing camp system, in which people mostly live in isolation, under the control of others and with severe restrictions on their privacy, must be abolished.
As a society, we are constantly developing and understand immigration as an integral part of our present, a great opportunity for the future and a right of every human being. This development must be mapped politically in order to create framework conditions for a culture of inclusive belonging, equal participation and representation in social and political life, and effective labour market integration.
Accelerate Progressive Change in Politics
Democracy, cultural and political participation
Today’s world poses several challenges to democracy. On the one hand, populism and extremism threaten the democratic social order and its supporters. On the other hand, trust in the political system has declined in recent years. Many people feel politically disconnected and dissatisfied – not least because of growing economic inequality. But especially in times of crisis, democratic negotiation processes are essential for the sustainable legitimisation of political decisions.
Therefore, the resilience of the democratic system must be increased and an effective defence of basic democratic values must be made possible. This also includes making political decision-making processes more transparent and accessible. For when it comes to critical decisions on issues of redistribution and burden sharing, particular interests must not take precedence over the common good. An important focus is on the expansion of forms of political participation that enable people to participate in politics and at the same time increase the democratic legitimacy of decision-makers.
Everyone must be able to influence decisions that affect them. That is the basic idea of democracy. Young people of all backgrounds need to be more involved in the democratic process, need more opportunities for political participation. Lowering the voting age in Bundestag and European elections is indispensable for this. People living in Germany without a German passport must be able to influence political decisions. More direct democracy must be made possible at all political levels; this includes modern democratic participation formats, such as citizens’ councils, which must be consistently tested and introduced if successful.
The corrupt behaviour of some MPs has massively shaken confidence in the political process. But there has long been a glaring need for action in the fight against corruption, as the Council of Europe has classified Germany’s efforts in this area as “unsatisfactory overall” since 2014. In order to finally establish trust, effective mechanisms are needed that make political decisions and possible influence transparent and comprehensible. Citizens’ freedom of information vis-à-vis the state is of central importance and must be further expanded. In addition, the lobby register needs to be expanded and strengthened, the transparency law needs to be improved and the disclosure of MPs’ supplementary income needs to be made mandatory.
The attacks in Hanau and Halle have highlighted the threat posed by the right in the most brutal way – populism and extremism are present. We must take decisive action against this. To do this, it is essential to strengthen civil society actors who inspire people for our democracy in their everyday work and carry out political education. Preventing extremism and promoting democracy are permanent tasks and need legal and financial security. For this reason, organisations that promote and protect democracy should not have to fear for their continued existence.
Culture is both a space for experimentation and the basis of a diverse society and our democratic coexistence. It connects people, creates a sense of community and can counteract the increasing polarisation of society. The pandemic has shown in painful clarity how the lack of long-term funding and the insufficient possibilities for social security endanger the elementary contribution of culture to society. Access to art and culture must be made equally possible for everyone, regardless of where they live or their financial situation. Cultural workers need better social security and crisis-proof structures.
We work towards a discrimination-free and diverse society. Physical and digital violence, agitation and discrimination based on identity are still part of everyday life for many people. Especially FLINTA* (women, lesbians, inter-, trans- and asexual people) and queer people, BPOC/BIPOC as well as people with disabilities or migration experiences are affected by structural and personal discrimination. Discrimination based on religion, especially anti-Semitism and Muslimophobia, must also be fought more vigorously in Germany. Legislators have a duty to pursue the dismantling of all discriminatory structures and to take comprehensive measures to protect those affected. Furthermore, the complex intersectionality of discrimination must be recognised and taken into account, especially in the creation and implementation of national action plans.
Equal rights for women and LGBTQIA+ persons must be guaranteed. Gender parity must be implemented in all areas at federal, state and municipal level. The legal framework must also be adapted to make parenthood possible for all forms of partnership without discrimination. There is a need to develop a comprehensive state action concept to protect these people who are particularly affected by (digital) violence. Furthermore, the right to bodily self-determination must be guaranteed, especially in the course of safe and legal abortions as well as self-determination for trans*, inter* and non-binary persons.
A diverse society must aim to guarantee equal rights for all segments of the population. The social and political participation of people with migration experiences must be promoted and guaranteed. The establishment of an independent complaints and review body for discrimination by state actors and the administration is imperative. Practices such as racial profiling must not be tolerated. Racism and right-wing extremism must be combated comprehensively and proactively, especially in security agencies. We need a consistent implementation of the National Action Plan against Racism.
The strengthening of participation opportunities and the right to co-determination must be advanced for persons with disabilities in all areas of society. The UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and existing action plans must be consistently implemented, (digital) accessibility must be ensured and equitable and inclusive educational opportunities must be made possible. Furthermore, the equal participation of persons with disabilities in working life must be enabled and promoted. Preventive action must be taken against violence against persons with disabilities; in addition, protection services for those affected must be created and supported.
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Construction and housing
Speculation, urban migration and a lack of political control have driven up rental costs to such an extreme that housing costs now overburden one in four households in major German cities. Previous attempts to create improved framework conditions, such as building offensives and rent controls, are considered to have failed and an aggravation of the housing crisis is already becoming apparent. At the same time, the climate targets in the building sector are repeatedly missed by a considerable margin. We urgently need building policy framework conditions to realise energy-efficient renovations of existing buildings and to provide the urgently needed living space in a short time.
Rent and housing costs in Germany have been rising rapidly for years, while private corporations and speculators have been making record profits. The housing crisis has become a widespread and systematic problem. The Covid-19 pandemic and rising inflation further exacerbate this development. Socially just housing policy must aim to prevent speculation with housing and ensure that no one has to pay more than 30% of their income for warm rent. To achieve this, home ownership must be transformed from a market economy driven by returns to a form oriented towards the common good. Buy-back and socialisation are two effective and targeted means to this end. The supply of affordable housing for low and average income earners must be massively expanded.
The building and construction sector causes about 30% of the total CO2 emissions in Germany. Building policy must create the framework conditions for climate-neutral and cycle-friendly construction. To achieve this, the entire life cycle of construction, i.e. from building materials to energy consumption to deconstruction, must be taken as a yardstick. Against this background, demolition and new construction must be critically weighed against renovation. Furthermore, the use of regional, renewable and recyclable building materials is essential, while the use of primary raw materials should be reduced. Only in this way can the necessary creation of living space be implemented in an (ecologically) sustainable manner.
New construction and reconstruction requires primary raw materials from abroad, including cement, sand and materials for construction chemicals. These are partly extracted in disregard of human rights and environmental standards. Germany must live up to its global responsibility along the entire supply chain and advocate for a raw materials policy that complies with human rights and environmental standards.
The climate crisis and ongoing urbanisation are fundamentally changing the way we live and live together. These developments must be proactively accompanied by spatial planning measures. In urban areas, for example, more and better integrated green spaces, adapted mobility concepts and new social meeting spaces are needed. In rural areas, mobility must be rethought, vital local communities must be promoted, access to barrier-free housing must be guaranteed and services of general interest must be ensured.
Transport and mobility
Mobility is a basic building block of social participation, personal freedom and self-determination. At the same time, the transport sector is one of the largest emitters of greenhouse gases and will continue to miss the sector targets with the currently planned measures. Transport infrastructure takes up massive amounts of land, curtails habitats and leads to high levels of noise and pollution. While parts of the sector benefit from billions in environmentally harmful subsidies, environmentally compatible means of transport are not sufficiently promoted. In addition to environmental, climate and health damage, social justice also plays a major role. Households with lower incomes are more often affected by the burdens, even though they contribute less to the volume of traffic on average. In addition, despite legal obligations, not all means of transport are equally accessible and barrier-free.
Consequential traffic costs are currently imposed on the environment, society and future generations. The polluter pays principle must be implemented consistently. Accordingly, climate-damaging subsidies must be completely abolished, a CO2 price with a steering effect and compensation mechanisms for people with lower incomes must be introduced.
It is imperative that the mobility sector be holistically aligned with the climate goals; a restriction to only new drive systems is not sufficient. The focus must be shifted from private motorised transport to ecologically sustainable, digitally networked and integrated systems across all modes of transport. The focus is on reducing the number of cars overall. The environmental alliance of bus and rail, non-motorised modes of transport, car sharing and carpooling must be at the centre of future mobility. The expansion of infrastructure for cyclists and pedestrians is elementary for this. If possible, freight transport must also be consistently shifted to the railways.
No more money should be spent on the construction and expansion of motorways and federal roads. Instead, the expansion of rail and local public transport must be driven forward nationwide. New possibilities for rural mobility such as call-busses and digitally supported shuttles to railway stations complement the offer. In doing so, the realities of life, the safety needs and the mobility needs of all people must be taken into account, and accessibility must be ensured throughout the country. The huge success of the €9 ticket must be followed up with low-cost public transport services across all associations.
Domestic German flights must be replaced by expanding rail capacity and improving transport links. European flights must also be shifted to rail. This requires a European ticketing system as well as affordable and attractive long-distance train connections – day and night. In the long term, only synthetic fuels may be used in international air transport as well.
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Health and Care
Social status must never determine access to health care. The German health and care system must be socially just, two-tier medicine must be abolished. Profit maximisation and economic efficiency must not form the basis of medical action at the expense of patients, doctors and nurses. The Covid-19 pandemic has once again shown that a sustainable health system must be crisis-proof and forward-looking.
Prevention and health care must be massively expanded and encompass both physical and mental health. A fundamental reform of the care system and upgrading of the care professions is needed to meet the challenges of changing care needs. In particular, the possibilities of digitalisation must be used consistently to enable uncomplicated access to good medical care.
Access to medical services must not depend on income, profession or residence status. The division into statutory and private health insurance must be dissolved and transformed into a non-discriminatory system. Furthermore, there is a need to turn away from profit-oriented financing, because health is part of the provision of public services and must not be subjected to market mechanisms. Instead, there is a need for cost-covering financing that guarantees good care under fair working conditions throughout the country.
There is an acute shortage of staff and poor pay in care institutions. In order to ensure adequate care for the growing proportion of the elderly population, there is a need for more staff, better working conditions and protection, fair pay and, in principle, greater appreciation of the profession.
At the moment, the mechanisms of the health system often start from the moment the disease arrives, ignoring the enormous prevention potential of education, upgrading of living conditions and anticipatory structures. Much of health is lifestyle or environmental, but most financial resources go to curative and palliative medicine. This is expensive, inefficient and socially unsustainable. Gender equity must be enshrined as a principle of health care. Opportunities also lie in improving nutritional quality, consistent food labelling and expanding nutrition education.
Nhere is still widespread scepticism about mental illness and therapeutic treatment. Furthermore, there is still a glaring shortage of therapy places. For good mental health for all, we need an expansion of the range of services and a guarantee of low-threshold and non-discriminatory access to professional treatment. At the societal level, it is important to remove the taboos surrounding mental illness.
Our education system is outdated, underfunded and unfair. The education that pupils receive in Germany still depends far too much on the income of the parents and the place of residence. The urgent need for action in the education sector became particularly apparent during the Covid 19 pandemic. Current education provision is not adapted to the rapidly changing demands of the modern world of work and neglects to promote the ability to innovate, work independently and communicate. Necessary investments in improving school infrastructure are hampered by bureaucracy and prohibitions on cooperation, the level of digitalisation in education lags far behind international standards, and the concerns of students are considered secondary at best by political decision-makers.
A drastic improvement in the framework of the education system is necessary to enable a sustainable, equal opportunities and digitised school system. This requires, in particular, comprehensive digitization measures and the modernisation of school infrastructure. Investments should also be used to deploy additional staff, especially in the area of school psychology and social work. Existing programmes on Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) must be expanded in order to make pupils aware of their responsibility as the shapers of tomorrow’s society. This also requires targeted further education and training of pedagogical staff with a focus on improving the quality of interaction with students and the recruitment of teachers who are able to integrate underrepresented perspectives into everyday school life.
Every child has a right to equitable educational and advancement opportunities. Equitable education must be made possible for all, regardless of social and parental background. For more educational justice, school systems should be promoted in which children learn together and from each other for as long as possible. Inclusive education must be implemented across the board.
Every young person must be guaranteed equitable access to higher education. In contrast, the Higher Education Report 2020 paints a shocking picture. It shows 79% of children from households where at least one parent has studied start university. For children from households where neither parent has studied, this proportion is alarmingly lower at 27%. This must be changed through reformed regulations on BaFöG and support measures, so that everyone can pursue the educational path they desire.
Accelerate progressive change in politics
Environment and Agriculture
The state of biodiversity in Germany is alarming: one third of all species and almost two thirds of the biotope types found in Germany are currently considered endangered. Other ecosystems are prevented from performing their natural function in the climate cycle by our way of living and farming. In this way, we actively prevent their contribution to the fight against climate change and reduce our resilience to natural disasters. That is why we need consistent environmental protection that promotes biodiversity and maximises the natural potential of ecosystems to store greenhouse gases.
The long-term orientation of agriculture towards maximising yields based on an industrial view of agricultural production has disastrous consequences for farmers, biodiversity, water and climate. It is essential to turn away from this outdated agricultural production logic.
Consistent environmental protection and the conservation of biodiversity and species diversity must be prioritised and the possibilities of natural CO₂ sinks must be exploited. Special attention must be paid to the protection of our groundwater, sustainable forestry, renaturation and the protection of seas, peatlands, wetlands and grasslands. These areas are particularly affected by the consequences of climate change, but also have the capacity to store CO₂ and contribute to climate protection.
The transformation of agriculture faces a major challenge: it must protect the livelihoods of farmers, guarantee food security and at the same time make agriculture climate neutral. Promoting the transformation towards regenerative and ecological agriculture that minimises and stores emissions must become a central element of agricultural policy in Germany and the EU. Incentives must be strengthened to reduce livestock farming and to redesign it in a species-appropriate and environmentally sound manner. This also includes measures to reduce meat consumption and to raise the price level for animal products. In addition, the use of pesticides, mineral and chemical fertilisers and genetic engineering must be consistently reduced and regulated.
Foreign and Development Policy
Peace cannot be taken for granted – not in Europe and not on other continents either. The Russian invasion of Ukraine has underlined this in the most brutal way. Therefore, now more than ever, a progressive foreign and development policy vision is needed for Germany. A ‘turnaround’ is in order, but it must go beyond modernising the Bundeswehr, because defence and security cannot be thought of separately from development and international partnerships in a complex world.
German development policy must implement both acute humanitarian aid and long-term development cooperation in the spirit of global justice and respect for human rights. A special focus here must be on global support for women’s rights, the protection of minorities and global public health.
Even in times of great insecurity, Germany must work globally for the observance of human rights and equality. This includes an approach based on the guiding principle of conflict prevention and a commitment to long-term global disarmament. The production of weapons and the export to authoritarian or human rights violating states must be more strongly regulated – this requires a strong arms export control law. In addition, Germany must explicitly commit to a European peace policy and implement it globally, specifically by increasing support for international and national civil society and enforcing all relevant international treaties at home and abroad. In particular, Germany must promote and implement the international obligations to protect sexual and reproductive rights, defend equal rights and the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities nationally and internationally.
The international commitment to allocate 0.7% of gross national income to development policy measures must be implemented and global cooperation must be focused on social justice, equality and ecological sustainability. Diversity and cooperation with civil society must be promoted and post-colonial structures must be addressed. Germany must provide greater international support for humanitarian aid and ensure that development cooperation and humanitarian aid are increasingly interlinked. A special focus must be placed on the consistent implementation of the 2030 Agenda, the Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations and the development of a consistent supply chain law.
The European Union is the foundation for the continued internal peace, prosperity and freedom of its member countries. Moreover, the geopolitical threat posed by authoritarian states makes it particularly clear how important strong European cohesion is. The central challenges of our time cannot be solved by nation states, but only through close European cooperation. For this, the EU must more clearly deliver on its promise as a peace and freedom project, because this is the only way we can overcome the great challenges of our time.
The European integration process must be driven forward more strongly, both politically and geographically. This includes the deepening of political, social and economic interdependencies within the EU as well as the pursuit of a common European social policy with the aim of equalising living standards in all member states. In addition, the EU must establish a more sovereign economic and political self-image by ensuring basic services and working towards a common foreign and defence policy. The EU must clearly commit to enlargement in the Balkans and adapt its neighbourhood policy accordingly.
While the share of legislation decided at EU level has continued to increase, the institutions have not been further democratised and reformed. European elections for the Parliament need transnational lists with a European election programme and European leading candidates. The Parliament must be placed on an equal footing with the Commission and the principle of unanimity must be abolished in all policy areas and at all levels of decision-making.
Europe as a community of values needs an effective rule of law mechanism. The consistent application and improvements of the rule of law mechanism are indispensable to effectively protect citizens in all member states and to remain credible as a community of values.
Participation in the Brand New Agenda
For this programme, the political demands of a large number of civil society organisations were researched by an editorial team of NBB. Based on these aggregated demands, a first version of the Brand New Agenda was drafted, paying special attention to overlaps between the positions. This was followed by a multi-stage participation process in which numerous of the organisations mentioned below were involved. The impulses and discussion results from this process were incorporated into the final version of the Brand New Agenda.
The participation process was accompanied and moderated by the betterplace lab.
The demands or impulses of the following organisations and individuals were used as a basis for the development of the Brand New Agenda:
Aktionsbündnis Seelische Gesundheit
Arbeitsgemeinschaft bäuerliche Landwirtschaft
Arbeitsgruppe Junge Pflege des DBfK
Architects for Future
Black Community Foundation e.V.
Bündnis für eine enkeltaugliche Landwirtschaft
Bündnis gegen Altersarmut
Center for Feminist Foreign Policy
Center for Intersectional Justice
Deutsche Wohnen & Co enteignen
Deutscher Paritätischer Wohlfahrtsverband – Gesamtverband e. V.
Digitale Bildung für Alle e.V.
Equal Rights Beyond Borders
Es geht LOS
Forum Ökologisch-Soziale Marktwirtschaft
Fridays for Future
Gorillas Workers Collective
Initiative 19. Februar
Kampagne Meine Landwirtschaft
Kommunalwahlrecht für Alle
Lesben und Schwulen Verband
Lieferando Workers Collective
Mehr Demokratie e.V.
Open Government Netzwerk Deutschland
Refugee Law Clinic
Stiftung Neue Verantwortung
Together For Future
Verkehrsclub Deutschland e.V.