Discover the Breadth of FNF's Engagement and Activities in 2017
On 19 May 1958, Germany’s federal president, Theodor Heuss, brought together friends and long-time companions at his official residence, the Villa Hammerschmidt in Bonn, to found the Friedrich Naumann Foundation. Heuss decided to start a political foundation not just because of his political experience in the Weimar Republic, which failed as the first German republic because too few democrats were prepared to fight for its survival. He also intended for the Friedrich Naumann Foundation to provide civic education to as many citizens as possible to turn them into guarantors of democracy in the young Federal Republic of Germany. Following in the footsteps of his political mentor and role model, Friedrich Naumann, Heuss decided to use civic education as a means to combat extremism and fanaticism.
In its 60-year history, the Friedrich Naumann Foundation has always read its founder’s intention as an injunction, an obligation and a mission. The Foundation’s activities would not have been possible without its many partners, both in Germany and abroad, with some of whom we have been associated for decades. We thank all of you, our civic partners and stakeholders in Germany, Europe and the world, for having worked with us in successful collaboration and partnership for 60 years.
The exit of the Free Democratic Party from the German Bundestag represented a watershed for the Foundation, too. It was the first time that our very existence as a political foundation was threatened, and required a quick and decisive response. This urgent need to change to survive has borne fruit over the past few years. The Foundation has defined its profile more clearly by focusing on key liberal topics such as the social market economy, education, the open and digital society, and foreign policy. Through modern communication techniques and innovative marketing tools, we managed to increase the number of citizens interested in our events year by year.
"I cordially invite you to discover the breadth of our engagement and activities in 2017, as we celebrate the Foundation’s 60 years in existence. And it would give us great pleasure to welcome you at some of Foundation’s events this year. At our – your – Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom."
But we will not be resting on our laurels. With the historic return of the Free Democrats to parliament in 2017, the Foundation once again has a long-term perspective as a political foundation. The task now at hand is to continue building on our achievements and guiding the Foundation towards a new future. The Board of directors and Board of trustees have adopted the strategic objectives for 2022, which are aimed in particular at expanding our educational offering in terms of both themes and organisation. We will be concentrating on developing themes in the medium to long term with the aim of enriching the political and intellectual debate in Germany. In doing so, we have to make our educational offerings more accessible to more people in Germany to champion democracy and the rule of law. At the same time, we want to identify and discuss the global mega-themes of our times together with our international partners and friends, and develop concrete actions.
I cordially invite you to discover the breadth of our engagement and activities in 2017, as we celebrate the Foundation’s 60 years in existence. And it would give us great pleasure to welcome you at some of Foundation’s events this year. At our – your – Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom.
CEO, Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom