Gauck calls on protest scene to participate in politics

Gauck calls on protest scene to participate in politics

"That they can argue, we have all noticed," he said in stuttgart on thursday, without mentioning the movement against the stuttgart 21 train station project by name. Politicians and parties, however, should not be "a distant opponent and certainly not an adversary" for critics. "Our representative democracy is a treasure," said the new federal president, who started his inaugural visit to the federal states in baden-wurttemberg.

Gauck warned against calling only for new elements of direct democracy. Representative democracy must not be allowed to become "defensive in a society in which we long for more participation, but have been able to make much greater use of the existing opportunities for participation," the former GDR civil rights activist explained. Politicians had to make an effort to narrow the gap with the burghers.

The federal president had come to baden-wurttemberg with his lifelong companion daniela schadt. Head of government winfried kretschmann (grune) received the president in the morning at the state chancellery. The republic’s first green minister-president introduced his country and said: "this committed citizenry is the most important asset we have."

Gauck has mixed feelings about political engagement on the street and on the internet. "The enthusiasm, joy of commitment and spontaneity of ad hoc groups, free initiative groups or online actions are a wonderful expression of a living democracy."But gauck said he was concerned that many of these committed citizens were "unfamiliar with the mechanisms and forms of representative democracy.

More citizens had to ask themselves: "could i perhaps take responsibility myself??"Gauck admitted that it was sometimes difficult to get involved in local councils, for example. "Not everyone spontaneously understands the budget of their municipality. Not everyone contributes to a flat land use plan in their free time."But it is a great enrichment for everyone to be able to help shape the future. "Participation in the federal republic is not just an abstract word of longing. It is political reality. It is possible every day."

Gauck then visited the solar thermal company ritter in dettenhausen near tubingen and a school, where he was interviewed by schoolchildren.


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