Respect in the Municipal Council

Photo: Stadt Buchholz/Heinrich Helms

The increasingly harsh tone in society extends to the councils or assemblies of municipalities and cities. Councillors who experience assaults or verbal transgressions often feel left alone. The project “Respect in Municipal Council” is dedicated to improving the culture of discussion in municipal bodies. We want to initiate a process of self-understanding in the councils that will lead to a cross-party agreement (code, guidelines) for a good culture of discussion.

For some time now, local politicians have increasingly suffered from hostility. With “Stark im Amt” (Strength for office-holders), we have developed a web portal for attacked office-holders in local politics together with the municipal umbrella organisations. We received a lot of positive feedback and learned that the attacks do not only come from outside, but also take place within the municipal representative bodies. Local politicians report crossing of boundaries, sexist attacks and unobjective debates. A nationwide, qualitative study conducted for us by Pollytix proves that assembly leaders are increasingly struggling to get their council collegium to reach a decision. The results of the study can be read in the brochure “More respect, please!”

We would like to show new ways for a better culture of discussion in a cross-party initiative. The project of the Körber Foundation is accompanied and supported by the Schulz von Thun Institute for Communication, which is experienced in advising business and administration. Professor Friedemann Schulz von Thun, Germany’s best-known communication psychologist, is involved here in an advisory capacity.

Das Projekt


Katrin Klubert

Programme Director
Municipality and Resilience

Vanessa Zohm

Programme Manager
Municipality and Resilience

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