The "Forum Bellevue
on the Future of Democracy"

The Federal President's "Forum Bellevue on the Future of Democracy" aims to facilitate critical and open debate on current and fundamental issues affecting our society and thereby contribute to the well-being of our liberal democracy. At each event since September 2017, the Federal President has engaged in discussion with German and international thought leaders from the worlds of science, politics, culture, business and civil society.

The Forum provides a platform in which to explore controversial questions and new points of view while seeking open debate on the conditions of success and the challenges faced by liberal democracy.

March 11th 2022: Symposium "On the future of democracy - How do we strengthen the Republic?"

Federal President Frank-Walter Steinmeier issued an invitation to a symposium as part of the Forum Bellevue on the Future of Democracy series, to be held in Schloss Bellevue on 11 March. The series has been running since autumn 2017 in cooperation with the Bertelsmann Stiftung.

The symposium was devoted to the topic "On the future of democracy - How do we strengthen the Republic?" The Federal President was joined by many of the panellists from the previous 12 events of the Forum Bellevue on the Future of Democracy to take stock of the past debates and look to the future.

President Steinmeier engaged in discussion with his guest of honour Alexander Van der Bellen, Federal President of the Republic of Austria, and with guests who had been on the panel of previous Forum Bellevue events – such as the authors Ian McEwan, Daniel Kehlmann and Thea Dorn, as well as Susan Neiman (Director of the Einstein Forum, Potsdam), Alena Buyx (Chair of the German Ethics Council), Christoph Möllers(Professor of Public Law and Jurisprudence at Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin), Armin Nassehi(Professor of Sociology at Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München), Maja Göpel (political economist and expert for sustainability policy and transformation research) and Mouhanad Khorchide(Head of the Centre for Islamic Theology at Münster University).

The main focus of their talks were the democracy of the future. The book “On the Future of Democracy – 36 Perspectives” edited by the Federal President provided important impetus for the discussion. It had been published shortly before the Symposium and contains contributions by previous panellists on the topics covered in the Forum Bellevue.

Together with his guests, the Federal President considered how a republican stance can be fostered in society and how people can be encouraged to embrace the cause of promoting a vibrant democracy. At the heart of the discussion was the question of what can and must be done to strengthen liberal democracies on both the inside and the outside. Following Russia's military attack on Ukraine, the strength of liberal democracies is particularly relevant and significant.