The Foun­da­tion for the Rights of Future Gen­er­a­tions (FRFG) offers an “Inter­gen­er­a­tional Jus­tice Prize”, val­ued at €10,000. It is financed by the “Stiftung Apfel­baum” and award­ed every two years. Through this award, FRFG hopes to pro­mote pub­lic debate about poli­cies which pro­mote gen­er­a­tional jus­tice and pro­vide dis­cus­sion with a sci­en­tif­ic basis. The com­pe­ti­tion is open to young sci­en­tists and schol­ars from var­i­ous dis­ci­plines. The com­pe­ti­tion entries should be 20–40 pages in length.

 Inter­gen­er­a­tional Jus­tice Award 2011/12: “The Ger­man debt brake”

Top­ic Overview

An effec­tive insti­tu­tion­al lim­it on the lev­el of nation­al debt was for many years a con­tro­ver­sial top­ic in the debate about sus­tain­able finan­cial pol­i­cy. The imple­men­ta­tion of a debt lim­it has also been one of the Foun­da­tion for the Rights of Future Gen­er­a­tions’ core aims.

The finan­cial cri­sis’ explo­sive con­se­quences of new indebt­ed­ness final­ly led in Ger­many to a – for the major­i­ty accept­able – ‘debt brake’: The Bun­destag and the Bun­desrat decid­ed in spring 2009 mas­sive changes with regard to what lev­el of state indebt­ed­ness was con­sid­ered accept­able. It was a deci­sion which had the basic prin­ci­ple of a bal­anced bud­get as its core aim. Could the Ger­man debt brake expe­ri­ence serve as a mod­el for oth­er Euro­pean coun­tries? Is the Ger­man expe­ri­ence of any use to coun­tries such as the UK, which unlike Ger­many, have an uncod­i­fied constitution?

Out­side Ger­many the finan­cial cri­sis has also sparked debates about the pos­si­bil­i­ty of new reg­u­la­to­ry frame­works to avoid future finan­cial crises. Does the Ger­man debt brake pro­vide a basis for repli­ca­tion in oth­er Euro­pean states, and/or at the supra­na­tion­al level?

In Ger­many itself, a final eval­u­a­tion of the reform will not be pos­si­ble until the tem­po­rary reg­u­la­tions are cur­tailed and the first bud­gets are passed by bund and län­der. Nev­er­the­less, we want to con­duct a pre­lim­i­nary inter­dis­ci­pli­nary and sci­en­tif­ic exam­i­na­tion of the debt brake reform and make a first inter­im report.

The aim of the sub­mit­ted papers should be to exam­ine the new reg­u­la­to­ry frame­work from dif­fer­ent per­spec­tives. The new law should be exam­ined in regard to its achieve­ment of a just finan­cial pol­i­cy. The Ger­man debt brake can be used as the start­ing point for fur­ther investigation.

The dead­line for sub­mit­ted papers was the 01.06.2012

The sym­po­sium was held on 3 Novem­ber 2012 in Stuttgart.


Sixth Intergenerational Justice Award Ceremony in Stuttgart

For the sixth time, the FRFG award­ed the Inter­gen­er­a­tional Jus­tice Prize fund­ed by the Apfel­baum Foun­da­tion and endowed with €10,000.

20121103_burret_awardOn Sat­ur­day, 3 Novem­ber, the FRFG host­ed the award cer­e­mo­ny for the Inter­gen­er­a­tional Jus­tice Prize 2011/12 in Stuttgart. The top­ic of the Sym­po­sium was “The debt brake — Eval­u­a­tion in the nation­al and inter­na­tion­al con­text”. After greet­ings from the host and the GLS Bank branch man­ag­er, Wil­fried Münch, and the speak­er of the FRFG, Wolf­gang Gründinger, Mrs. Dr. Gisela Meis­ter-Scheufe­len held the eulo­gy for the win­ners. As a mem­ber of the jury she was famil­iar with the works of the win­ners and praised them as out­stand­ing and inno­v­a­tive con­tri­bu­tions to a cur­rent and impor­tant issue. There­after the win­ners pre­sent­ed their works to the par­tic­i­pants of the sym­po­sium in graph­ic presentations.

20121103_grohmann_awardAfter the award cer­e­mo­ny fol­lowed two work­shops which again took up the the­ses of the win­ning works. The Work­shops were mod­er­at­ed by Dr. Ed Turn­er and Dr. Gisela Meis­ter-Scheufe­len. In the work­shops, the par­tic­i­pants were able to express their view of the sym­po­sium on the sub­ject of debt brake and to dis­cuss the main the­ses of the win­ning works. The work­shops were char­ac­ter­ized by live­ly dis­cus­sions. The first award went to Heiko Bur­ret for his work „Die deutsche Schulden­bremse als Panazee? – Eine Analyse im his­torischen Kontext“.

The sec­ond award went to Lea Grohmann für her essay „Gen­er­a­tio­nen­gerechte Finanzpoli­tik im Bun­desstaat – ohne Aus­sicht auf Erfolg? Zur Effek­tiv­ität der soge­nan­nten „Schulden­bremse“ in den Bundesländern“.

For a detailed doc­u­men­ta­tion and the sym­po­sium agen­da in Ger­man, please click here.