Freedom, justice and solidarity are the basic principles underlying the work of the Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung (KAS). The KAS is a political foundation, closely associated with the Christian Democratic Union of Germany (CDU). As co-founder of the CDU and the first Chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany, Konrad Adenauer (1876-1967) united Christian-social, conservative and liberal traditions. His name is synonymous with the democratic reconstruction of Germany, the firm alignment of foreign policy with the trans-Atlantic community of values, the vision of a unified Europe and an orientation towards the social market economy. His intellectual heritage continues to serve both as our aim as well as our obligation today.
In our European and international cooperation efforts we work for people to be able to live self-determined lives in freedom and dignity. We make a contribution underpinned by values to helping Germany meet its growing responsibilities throughout the world.
We encourage people to lend a hand in shaping the future along these lines. With more than 70 offices abroad and projects in over 120 countries, we make a unique contribution to the promotion of democracy, the rule of law and a social market economy. To foster peace and freedom we encourage a continuous dialog at the national and international levels as well as the exchange between cultures and religions.
Human beings in their distinctive dignity and with their rights and responsibilities are at the heart of our work. We are guided by the conviction that human beings are the starting point in the effort to bring about social justice and democratic freedom while promoting sustainable economic activity. By bringing people together who embrace their responsibilities in society, we develop active networks in the political and economic spheres as well as in society itself. The guidance we provide on the basis of our political know-how and knowledge helps to shape the globalization process along more socially equitable, ecologically sustainable and economically efficient lines.
We cooperate with governmental institutions, political parties, civil society organizations and handpicked elites, building strong partnerships along the way. In particular we seek to intensify political cooperation in the area of development cooperation at the national and international levels on the foundations of our objectives and values. Together with our partners we make a contribution to the creation of an international order that enables every country to develop in freedom and under its own responsibility.
The Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung inaugurated the Rule of Law Program South East Europe in 2005. The Rule of Law Program South East Europe is one of five regional rule of law programs managed worldwide by the Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung. It supplements the activities of the six country offices run by the Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung in South East Europe. The office of the Rule of Law Program is based in Bucharest, Romania.
The Rule of Law Program South East Europe concentrates on the following six subject areas, in which there is substantial need for reform and consultation within and among the countries of the region:
both institutional and substantive:
- Institutional constitutional law insofar as it guarantees separation of powers and provides for mechanisms to ensure an effective system of checks and balances within the State, as well as the independence of the judiciary.
- Substantive constitutional law insofar as it guarantees equality before the law, fundamental freedoms and human rights.
insofar as it secures respect for fundamental rights and principles of the rule of law. In particular, the development and reform of constitutional, penal and administrative procedural law, as well as the promotion of measures in favour of a rational, accessible, transparent, impartial and efficient justice system.
Protection of Human and Minority Rights,
particularly the promotion and strengthening of national and international human rights protection systems as well as encouragement of the safeguarding of fundamental rights protected by both the Constitution and the ordinary legal acts. Support for compliance with the internationally recognized principle of non-discrimination is of special importance. The Rule of Law Program aims to secure full compliance with this principle in relation to any minority group, i.e. not only ethnic minorities, but also other socially discriminated groups (e.g. mentally disabled people).
Fight against Corruption,
above all the promotion of a professional and ethical conduct by legal professionals by means of education about and promotion of international and regional codes of conduct and ethics for the judiciary. The development and implementation thereof at the national level, support for further development of laws and measures aiming at the prevention of conflicts of interests, and the promotion of transparency and free access to public information.
Coping with the Past by Legal Means,
particularly supporting the countries of the region to overcome their authoritarian/totalitarian pasts. Promotion of the exploration of possibilities of the legal mastering of the past, and of the discussion of instruments thereof, especially on a regional level.
European Legal Order,
above all assisting the countries of the region to develop their legal structures and cultures to match those of the European Union (EU), and preparing jurists from the Program participant countries for the impact of the accession to the EU on their respective juridical practice.
In the abovementioned areas of concentration, the Rule of Law Program South East Europe organizes both regional and national seminars, trainings and conferences for the countries of the region. Target groups are legal practitioners (judges, public prosecutors, attorneys at law, trial lawyers, and administration of justice officers), as well as members of the Government and of Parliament, employees of nongovernmental organizations, university professors and members of civil society. The Rule of Law Program strives to promote change among elites in the region. Hence, the Program’s primary targets are young jurists, particularly law students. It is only through the promotion of the young that rule of law structures can be enforced in a sustainable manner.
The Rule of Law Program South East Europe works together with local partners. By cooperating with local partners, it seeks to ensure that it responds to the most urgent needs and developments both in each country, and in the region as a whole. Through its regional approach, the Program aims to encourage its target groups to cooperate regionally, and to develop a regional network among the countries of the region and among experts within the region and in the EU at large.