We want to bring about concrete results, not merely have an effect. This is why we focus not on the feasibility of projects when we select our themes and identify our objectives, but on the achievability of their targets. We pursue the following goals in our four cluster themes:
Europe: To strengthen Europe’s cohesion and ability to act.
The European concept of society is based on the rule of law and social justice, the separation of powers, democracy and freedom of the individual. For many internal and external reasons, people have come to trust in these ideas less and less. Germany does its utmost to counter this loss of confidence in the European idea, both for the sake of its own varied interests and on account of its historical responsibility. As a foundation, we want to develop and make available ideas for a discussion of a democratic Europe that is capable of action, and to ensure that people understand why European cohesion is necessary. Our objective is to strengthen Europe’s cohesion and ability to act. Turkey is linked to Europe on account of its geographical position and wide-ranging political, cultural, historical and economic ties. Sustainable relations between Germany and the other European states and Turkey are also part and parcel of this.
Integration: To achieve equal educational opportunities for people of migrant origin.
We are continuing to work towards our goal of improving the educational success of people who have demonstrably reduced and insufficient chances of success in the German education system. In many cases these are people of migrant origin. We are concentrating on bringing about systemic changes in schools and universities as educational institutions. We will involve ourselves in the development of concepts for integration and social cohesion to reduce the inequality in Germany in terms of school and university qualifications achieved by people of migrant origin by 70 percent by 2025. A growing role will be played by the transfer of knowledge through cooperation and networks.
Climate Change: To reduce greenhouse gas emissions in order to limit dangerous climate change.
Specific efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions remain the central objective of our work in this field. Interim targets that guide our actions are to achieve a 40% reduction by 2020 and a 55% reduction by 2030 in Germany. Our long-term goal is for emissions to be cut by at least 80% by 2050, as compared with their 1990 levels. These targets need to be reached if future generations are to survive. To this end, we will tactically widen our activities – which were previously focused on the energy sector and a successful energy transition – to include, initially, the transport sector in particular. Furthermore, we will increasingly incorporate the European dimension into our activities. The success of our work will depend to an even greater extent on our active involvement in the international networks that we have established and that we wish to expand.
Cultural Education: To firmly anchor cultural education in schools.
Establishing cultural education as a part of general education in schools remains our overarching objective. To this end, we will continue to focus on the quality frameworks in place in Germany’s states, these being the central instruments used to control and support all schools. At the same time, the transfer of good practice through cooperative ventures and networks, and links to central issues relevant to education and Stiftung Mercator such as all-day schools and integration, will become increasingly important if we are to achieve our goals. In addition, we also want to take advantage of cultural education’s potential to reach our objectives in our other cluster themes (education, integration, Europe).