Several German NGOs and NGO-Networks are giving the NGO INITIATIVE BALTIC SEA COOPERATION its shape: Human Rights, Culture, Social Affairs, Women's Rights, Environment, Nature Protection, Youth, Exchange programmes, Refugees and Migration are only some of many topics the initiatives work on.
In 2002 we started this Webpage in order to stay in contact with all people interested in the BALTIC SEA AREA and those who are already actively taking part in some events or projects related to the area. In October 2004 German NGOs interested in Baltic Sea Cooperation met in Hamburg and renewed their willingness in working for more exchange and common projects.
The organisations listed below were the ones who started the German part of Baltic NGO Networking in 2001. Step by step we plan to further use this Webpage as a space open to NGOs in Baltic Sea region to exchange ideas, position papers and information. It will be used mainly to inform German speaking people (please excuse that German will be the main language on this page), but in order to make it understandable for NGOs from other countries English papers are welcome, too. In case of questions from people who only understand German we will try to get those texts translated. We hope that the Baltic NGO Network in future will be able to run also a common Webpage, which contains information about all the CBSS-countries.
We offer you a list of international focal points for direct contacts in der region
If you are interessted in joining the initiative please fill out our contact form.
The following organisations participated in our initiative from 2001:
A group of people mostly from Federal States Mecklenburg-Vorpommern and Schleswig-Holstein engaged in protection of the Baltic Sea. We meet 2-3 times a year, mostly in Luebeck or Rostock, to exchange news and information.
Our workgroup belongs to BUND (Bund für Umwelt und Naturschutz Deutschland e.V.), one of the biggest environmental organisations in Germany. The BUND Workgroup is open also to people from other organisations, scientists or interested individuals. Some of us work full-time, but many freelance. To reach our goals we share tasks, f.e. to write letters to politicians or the press, to design leaflets, establish contacts, give statements and much more.
As freelance work should bring also some fun, our meetings are often followed by a social gathering.
Topics change after what is most urgent to work on, On our agenda last year were
BUND is also member of Coalition Clean Baltic (CCB), the Baltic Sea Network of environmental organisations. This offers a good chance to work on the international and transboundary problems of Baltic Sea protection.
More information is to be found at http://www.bund.net/mv/ostsee or http://www.ccb.se
Antonia Wanner and Wolfgang Günther
Bund für Umwelt- und Naturschutz Deutschland (BUND) / German member organisation of the Coalition Clean Baltic (CCB)
Antonia Wanner is studying Biology at University of Kiel after having finished a one year ecological voluntary service in 1996. She is member of the BUND working group on Baltic issues. In May 2000 she was elected for the CCB international board.
Wolfgang Günther is Biologist and voluntary working for the BUND/CCB
since its founding in 1990. He had been member of the CCB board in starting
period of the network.
Democratisation through Co-operation – the Work of the Deutsch-Russischer Austausch e.V.
The Deutsch-Russischer Austausch e.V. (German-Russian Exchange) is a charitable organisation founded in Berlin in 1992 with the aim of assisting democratic development in Russia by co-operating with Russian NGOs and independent mass media.
The organisation with head-quarter in Berlin has 18 staff members (including trainees and volunteers) ten of them are working in Berlin, eight are working in projects based in St.Petersburg, Nazran (Northern Caucasus) Minsk and Wolgograd. The organisation is closely co-operating with the partner organisation Nemecko Russkii Obmen in St.Petersburg mostly in the field of international volunteer programs.
The DRA e.V. has been active in the following areas:
In 1998 the Deutsch-Russischer Austausch e.V. was awarded the Theodor-Heuss
Medal for democratic awareness and the support of democratisation in Russia.
Further information you may get from www.austausch.org
Deutsch-Russischer Austausch e.V. Berlin
D 10119 Berlin
tel. +49-30-44 66 80-22
fax +49-30-44 49 46-0
Human Rights Organisation for the Right to Feed Oneself
FIAN, German Section
Overwegstr. 31, 44625 Herne, Germany
Contact: Ute Hausmann
P.O. Box 102243, 69012 Heidelberg, Germany
Land evictions, denied access to land, to other productive resources or means of subsistence, state’s failure to secure sufficient income or to prevent long term unemployment are typical violations of the right to feed oneself.
FIAN is the international Human Rights Organisation working internationally for the realisation of the right to feed oneself. FIAN is independent of governments, political parties, ideologies and without religious affiliation. FIAN has consultative status with the United Nations, the Council of Europe, the African Commission of Human Rights.
Today, there are FIAN sections and co-ordinations in 12 countries in Asia, Europe and Latin America. FIAN members in 60 countries support those whose right to feed oneself has been violated by participating in letter campaigns and long-term case work. There are 3 sections in the Baltic Sea Region: Norway, Sweden and Germany. The German section has 1200 members.
FORUM MENSCHENRECHTE (FMR) is a network of more than 40 German non-governmental organisations (NGOs) who are committed to better and more comprehensive protection of human rights - world-wide, in specific regions of the world, within countries and also within the Federal Republic of Germany. The Forum was established in 1994 following the International Human Rights Conference in Vienna. The common agenda of the affiliated organisations focuses on the following objectives:
Various working groups of the Forum are responsible for preparing joint statements and information material and for organising campaigns, public meetings and forums of experts. The FORUM MENSCHENRECHTE is closely cooperating with NGOs at both the European and international level.
FMR-activities are coordinated by a panel elected by the affiliates of the Forum, representing the entire spectrum of member organisations.
The FMR-Secretariat has its seat in the „Haus der Demokratie und Menschenrechte“
in Berlin. The Forum funds its activities through contributions from its affiliated
organisations; a fund-raising association was set up at the end of 2000 for
sponsoring activities of the FORUM MENSCHENRECHTE.
FORUM MENSCHENRECHTE – a Network of German Human Rights Organizations
Haus der Demokratie und Menschenrechte, Greifswalder St. 4, D-10405 Berlin
Contact: Petra Hanf,
tel: +49-30-42 02 17 71,
fax: +49-30-42 02 17 72,
The Baltic-Refugee-Net is a network in the process of organization, initiated by the Refugee Council Schleswig-Holstein in co-operation with other organizations concerned with refugee issues in the Baltic region. On this page you will find information regarding refugees in the Baltic region as well as information on the international conference ”Baltic Sea as Escape Route" that took place in Schleswig-Holstein in November 2001.
Refugee Council Schleswig-Holstein
Oldenburger Str. 25, D-24143 Kiel
tel. +49-431-73 50 00
fax +49-431-73 60 77
email: firstname.lastname@example.org or Baltic.email@example.com
The non-profit organisation INFOBALT was founded 1991 in a time when the baltic states Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania still had to fight for the re-establishing of their independence. As the three baltic states are comparatively small countries, it is still not much known about them in a big country like Germany. Many stereotypes are still in use, and it is not so easy to get good information about different fields of interests. Members of INFOBALT are ready to tell about their experiences, to help in cooperation and in starting projects together with partners in Estonia, Latvia or Lithuania.
The magazine INFOBALT.DE - INFOBLATT BALTISCHE STAATEN is published twice a year and contents reports about journeys, projects, politics and other news. Recently the second edition of "Handbook Baltic Contacts" was published, which lists a large number of project examples and addresses possible to contact.
The statutes of INFOBALT stipulate that the organisation works for a peaceful, sustainable, and democratic development of the Baltic Region. INFOBALT holds contact to different governmental and non-governmental institutions and keeps a network for information exchange and consultation.
Helgolander Str. 8, 28217 Bremen
tel. +49-421-39 15 71 or +49-173-7 18 31 06
The Social Hansa Network was founded in September 1992. Soon the Social Hansa Network became authorized and the different countries and cities decided to join Social Hansa projects. Its purpose is to create a network of social coopreation in and between the countries around the Baltic Sea. Exchange of information, pilot projects, conferences etc. are examples of this co-operation.
Social Hansa is an independent and non-governmental organisation (NGO), based on the founding papers of the conference in Lübeck-Brodten, Germany 1992, revised in Svaneke, Denmark in 1993. Its main emphasis is to build up a society united in solidarity, social equality, gender mainstreaming, justice as well as democracy and non-discrimination.
Social Hansa is operating in connection with the International Council on Social Welfare (ICSW) and the Union of the Baltic Cities (UBC).
Entrusted with the care of the management is
Senator a.D. Volker Kaske, Lübeck, Germany, who is acting with support of the Senator Senioren Residenzen Lübeck, a private carrier of stationary geriatric installations in north-Germany.
Address: Kaninchenbergweg 45 d, D-23564 Lübeck,
tel. +49-451-60 30 40
fax: +49-451-6 09 12 99
Member of the in 1993 elected Executive Committee is
Holger Rohde, Secretary General of the Regional Association for the independent Welfare Organisations of Schleswig-Holstein/Germany (Landes-Arbeitsgemeinschaft der freien Wohlfahrtsverbände Schleswig-Holstein e.V.)
Adress: Prinz-Heinrich-Str. 1, D-24106 Kiel, Phone: +49 431 336075, Fax: +49 431 337130,
The entirety of all social help rendered on a non-profit-making basis and in organised form in the Federal Republic of Germany is called voluntary welfare work. The associations of voluntary welfare work are federalist in structure, i.e. the structure and member organisations are legally independent. They are characterised by different ideological or religious motives and objectives. Their common feature is that their immediate starting point is the readiness to help and the solidarity within the population. They arouse and promote such forces and facilitate their development in purposeful and coordinated activity.
The federal associations of voluntary welfare work have joined together in the Federal working partnership of voluntary welfare work http://www.bagfw.de
The working partnership of voluntary welfare associations of the Land of Schleswig-Holstein (LAGFW-SH)
Contact: Holger Rohde,
Prinz-Heinrich-Str. 1, D-24106 Kiel
tel.: +49-431-33 60 75
fax: +49-431-33 71 30
In the preamble of the statutes of LAG it says:
The recognised associations of voluntary welfare work express their intention to take decisions of fundamental significance in agreement with all parties concerned. The members of the working partnership of voluntary welfare associations of the Land of Schleswig-Holstein reg. soc. are:
They have been closely cooperating in Schleswig-Holstein for more than 50 years and have joined together in 1946 in the Working Partnership of Voluntary Welfare Associations of the Land with headquarters in Kiel. In the 1950ies they formed a formal association.
§ 1 of the statutes of LAG says: The purpose of the association is
The member associations of LAG cooperate as partners with state and municipal welfare entities with the aim of efficiently complementing each other in the respective activities for the benefit of those seeking help. The principle of this cooperation, also called subsidiarity principle, is the realisation that anything that can be done by individuals, the family or groups and entities on their own resources must not be taken over by a superior authority or by the state. This is to make sure that the competence and responsibility of the respective spheres of life are recognised and utilised. It does however also incorporate the obligation of the state to strengthen the smaller entities in a manner allowing them to become active accordingly.
The benefits of voluntary welfare work today comprise four major areas:
In this, the following facilities and services are the focuses of the fields of social work:
Partners of LAG are all persons, organisations, institutions and systems that make reference to LAG under the key word of voluntary welfare work in Schleswig-Holstein. These include above all the government of the Land of Schleswig-Holstein, the Ministry of Labour, Social Affairs, Health and Consumer Protection, the Ministry of Education, Science, Research and Culture, the Ministry of Justice, Women, Youth and Family, the state parliament, the leading municipal organisations, health and nursing insurance companies, the press, north German radio, the savings banks and giro association, but also citizens’ action groups and their associations as well as private entrepreneurs.
The Regional Youth Council of Schleswig-Holstein represents the interests of its 23 member organisations and 15 local youth councils with about 500.000 members. More than 20.000 voluntary youth workers are active in the member youth organisations of the Regional Youth Council.
The Baltic Youth Office of the Regional Youth Council is a non-commercial institution with the goal of promoting youth exchange and mobility in the Baltic Sea Region. It offers information, contacts and help with the organisation of youth encounters around the Baltic Sea for youth groups, youth organisations and for individuals.
The Baltic Sea Secretariat for Youth Affairs (http://www.balticsea-youth.org) is also located at the Regional Youth Council. After the first Baltic Sea Youth Minister Conference 1998 a focus point for information and coordination was needed to connect activities of non-governmental and governmental actors in the region.
The Baltic Youth Forum (BYF) is a network for bilateral and multilateral co-operation among the national youth councils around the Baltic Sea. In Germany and Russia, regional youth councils play the most active role. The secretariat work of BYF is carried out on a rotation basis, with each member hosting the secretariat for a year at a time. As a network, BYF does not have a chairmanship or presiding body, but acts on a consensus basis.
Regional Youth Council of Schleswig-Holstein, Baltic Sea Secretariat for Youth Affairs
Holtenauerstr. 99, D-24105 Kiel
tel. +49-431-8 00 98 47,
fax +49-431-8 00 98 41;
Baltic Youth Office
tel. +49 +431-8009848,