Who we are

Heinrich Böll Foundation in Central and Eastern Europe


The Heinrich Böll Foundation is a German, legally independent political foundation affiliated with the German Green Party. Our main objectives involve fostering democracy and upholding human rights, taking action to prevent the destruction of the global ecosystem, advancing equality between women and men. We are particularly involved in issues of social emancipation and gender equality in politics and society, respect for cultural and ethnic minorities, and the social and democratic participation of immigrants. The Heinrich Böll Foundation is currently supporting about 130 projects in 60 countries on four continents.

Our mission in 2002, when the Warsaw office of the Heinrich Böll Foundation started up, was to facilitate the process of European integration, and to bring ‘old’ and ‘new’ members of the EU closer together. We are currently concentrating on three areas of activity:

1. Within the Democracy and Human Rights programme we back social developments in EU countries and promote equal rights and opportunities for every societal group. We place special importance on preventing social exclusion on the grounds of sex, ethnic/national origin, sexual orientation and religion. In relations between citizens and the state we emphasise the effective functioning of public institutions and the strengthening of social and democratic accountability, and also the participation in various levels of engagement. We support green politics as a part of a pluralist political scene, at both the national and European level.  

2. The International Policy programme creates a space needed for the discussion of the future and direction of the development of a common European foreign and security policy. We place special importance on the challenges related to the EU’s relations with its Eastern neighbours –this covers its relationship with Ukraine, Belarus and Russia.  We also focus on deepening German-Polish cooperation in this area. We stress the importance of human rights, gender issues and cooperation between international institutions and structures. We aim to support the debate about the future of the EU and its role in the global arena, and we organise conferences and provide expert opinion to this end. We would like all citizens to be included in the mutual creation of the European Union.

3. Our Energy and Climate programme aims to intensify the discourse about the challenges presented by energy transformation and climate change in both European and global contexts. A key focus of our programme is on working in support of long-term energy transformation, especially the championing of renewable energy sources and energy efficiency. One of the programme’s priorities is the establishment of an appropriate climate for the discussion of energy security and green modernisation – specifically focusing on civic participation and consumer protection. We support energy concepts that guarantee sustainable socio-economic development, as well as a clean and healthy environment.