Statement against extremism

The Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft is closely monitoring current developments and the resurgence in Germany of antidemocratic groups hostile to the constitution with great concern. As a nonprofit research organization, Fraunhofer maintains neutrality toward the interests of individuals and groups in politics, business and society. At the same time, Fraunhofer clearly stands against all dehumanizing ideas and antidemocratic efforts by parties and organizations. This includes any attacks on the liberal democratic order, all anti-Semitic and racist ideas and exclusion and discrimination of any kind.

The goal of a free and open society must always also be an open and rational culture of debate. Fraunhofer is combating divisions in society with fact-based communication and by strengthening local economies and value chains based on innovation.

Openness to the world is the foundation of economic strength and innovation

The major challenges of our day can only be addressed through joint strategies, ongoing dialogue and international cooperation. Isolationist efforts are diametrically opposed to this. The Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft consequently considers Germany as a whole to be acutely at risk as a location for business and innovation. Fraunhofer sees in the spread of antidemocratic tendencies devastating consequences in the future for the country's viability and competitiveness, notably the exodus of talent. Germany and Europe must remain an attractive destination and home for international scientific talent and highly qualified professionals through openness and stability.

The Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft's research would be inconceivable without its employees, including those with immigrant backgrounds — they are the mainstays of our scientific system. In conjunction with this, the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft is aware of its responsibility for its employees and will always speak out whenever they are attacked. Internationality, diversity and respect are integral to Fraunhofer's guiding principles and the Fraunhofer Code of Conduct. These values are upheld by the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft's membership in the United Nations Global Compact as well as its signing of and commitment to the Diversity Charter.

Democracy and academic freedom as cornerstones of the innovation system

Academic freedom in Germany is a great good enshrined in Article 5 (3) of the German Basic Law. Research organizations and institutions of higher education must remain places of open discourse and practiced democracy. The scientific system must therefore be defended against ideologically motivated restrictions.

The Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft is firmly committed to global openness, diversity, democracy and the rule of law and unequivocally distances itself from the dehumanizing plans of all extremist parties, organizations and groups.