The FDP domestic politician Linda Teuteberg has expressed doubts about the federal government’s plans to financially secure civil society commitment against extremism with the Democracy Promotion Act. Non-governmental organizations (NGOs) are “often given an importance that they are not entitled to,” Teuteberg told the “Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung”. “They are not democratically legitimized for their part, but operate a kind of lobbying.”

It is a contradiction in terms to “ostentatiously describe oneself as civil society and then claim to be financed by the state,” criticized Teuteberg. The FDP politician is her parliamentary group’s rapporteur for the law.

She pointed out that the Basic Law assigns a decisive role to the parties in mediating between society and the state level. Teuteberg considers the fact that parties are only half-financed with taxpayers’ money, but some NGOs are now claiming permanent financing from taxpayers’ money to be “highly problematic”.

The Democracy Promotion Act was already the subject of a political debate in the last legislative period. The cabinet of the grand coalition had passed the draft law, but it then failed due to resistance from the Union faction, which had demanded that the organizations commit to the free democratic basic order.

Teuteberg has similar concerns. It should “be a matter of course that public funds can only be received by those who stand completely on the ground of the free democratic basic order and only cooperate with partners to whom this applies equally,” she told the newspaper.

The “Ampel” wants to get the democracy promotion law, which failed in the grand coalition, up and running by the beginning of 2023. The new regulation is intended to enable the federal government to provide long-term funding for initiatives against hate and violence. The participation process was completed at the beginning of May. Numerous umbrella associations, specialist organizations and scientists submitted statements on the content of the draft law.

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