The Federal Agency for Civic Education

Its Functions, Aims and Activities

The work done by the Federal Agency for Civic Education (Bundeszentrale für politische Bildung/bpb) centres on promoting awareness for democracy and participation in politics. It takes up topical and historical subjects by issuing publications, by organising seminars, events, study trips, exhibitions and competitions, by providing extension training for journalists and by offering films and on-line products. The broad range of educational activities provided by the bpb is designed to motivate people and enable them to give critical thought to political and social issues and play an active part in political life. Considering Germany's experience with various forms of dictatorial rule down through its history, the Federal Republic of Germany bears a unique responsibility for firmly anchoring values such as democracy, pluralism and tolerance in people's minds.

The bpb celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2002. 50 years of bpb stand for 50 years of work in education aimed at strengthening and improving civil society. The various educational activities the bpb has to offer provide insights into how political, cultural, social and economic processes fit together in history and society. It bears the socio-political, educational and journalistic responsibility for the way in which it goes about its work. Being an institution entrusted with providing the kind of civic education specified in the German constitution, it also supports events organised by more than 300 approved educational establishments, foundations and non-governmental organisations involved in civic education in the Federal Republic of Germany.

The bpb has a wide range of services on offer to teachers and anyone involved in education and youth work. It addresses young people directly by dealing with topics and using media that suit their age. It develops special media packages and advanced training activities for young people in sports clubs, in the Bundeswehr or in the police. Now, in the age of the media society, the bpb applies modern methods of communication and makes cross-use of the media. It is facing up to the demands for rapid and well-founded information: It takes up topical social and political events and debates in the educational activities and special on-line products it offers. This ensures that anyone interested can acquire full information.