Topic: How can ecological intergenerational justice be grounded more firmly in the constitution?

The basis of this question was the unsolved problem of representing future generations in German democracy. The constitution only defines the rights of those already born, which basically means the generations alive today. The protection of the constitution has no effect on the future. The FRFG does not find it ethically acceptable that generations alive today use up the economic and ecological resources of the country, especially where this means there is nothing left for future generations. This is why it is necessary to safeguard the rights of forthcoming generations by embedding these rights in the constitution.


Should ecological intergenerational justice be grounded more firmly in the constitution?

If it should, how can this be achieved? (E.g. targets set by the state, institutes, authorities). How should the directives in the constitution be improved or changed? Please give a scientific and a generally understandable reason for your answer.

Congratulations to the following prize-winners:

1st Place:
Doris Armbruster, Anemon Bölling, Dr. Johannes Rux


Symposium 2002

Symposium 2002: 5–7 July, Tutzing Castle

What is Generational Justice?
In assosciation with

Evangelical Academy, Tutzing
YOIS Germany

Financial support

Haniel Stiftung
Stiftung Mitarbeit

The Idea

Victor Hugo once said „There is nothing more powerful than an idea whose time has come.“ Today, this applies to the concept of intergenerational justice.

sym_2002_1As a key phrase „Intergenerational Justice“ found its way into political and  social discourse a long time ago. The phrase is used in UN-Declarations and on talk shows in conjunction with the greenhouse effect, holes in the ozone layer, atomic waste and also unemployment. However, a clear definition and a serious discussion regarding “Intergenerational Justice” is still lacking.

This is why FRFG organised a symposium around the theme in July 2002. The aim was to further the political and academic interest, and to incentivise ordinary citizens, especially young adults, to engage with the complex theme of Intergenerational Justice.

Tutzing Castle was the ideal setting to house the conference.


About 80 attendees (60 participants, plus speakers and journalists) took up the invitation to participate in a programme that promised to be exciting: Podium discussions about the anchoring of intergenerational justice in the constitution as well as about the general definition of the term, a broad range of workshops and the presentation of the first intergenerational justice prize.

sym_2002_2The setting, a castle situated directly by the Stamberger Lake, and the wonderful weather, were pleasant surprises for all participants and speakers, who made use of the refreshment provided by a dip in the Lake over the next few days. In the evening most participants met in the bar for a beer or a coke, and discussed the issues that had been presented in the day until late in the night.

The Symposium was therefore not only a success in view of its contents, but also because it gave people the chance to meet others with similar interests. Free time was skilfully interspersed with meetings, making the symposium worthwhile in more than one aspect.sym_2002_3

This Symposium also provided a suitably festive backdrop for the awards ceremony of the Intergenerational Justice Prize 2001/2002 .

The discussion from the Symposium are documented in the Book “Handbuch Generationengerechtigkeit”. It covers the same themes, and various speakers at the conference contributed essays for it.