"The integration of people who migrate permanently to Germany or Europe is by no means self-evident. It demands a joint effort on the part of the state and society."
Tolerance and openness for things that are new and different are essential features of democratic societies. They are part of the fundamental values that shape them. Such values have come under pressure in many parts of Europe. This makes it all the more important to stand up for them and defend them. Against populists and their attempts to capitalise on the fears and insecurities of citizens by means of supposedly simple answers to complex issues. Against attempts to divide our communities. Against attempts to exclude people.
Ethnic, religious and cultural diversity have long been part of everyday reality in Germany. Over the decades, our country has become richer and more colourful thanks to immigration. The integration of people who migrate permanently to Germany or Europe is by no means self-evident. It demands a joint effort on the part of the state and society. In the process, we should be guided by our trust in its success, and the benefits for our coexistence, rather than by despondency or a fear of failure.
The media, and in particular public broadcasters with their mission to provide information, can make an important contribution here. This is especially visible with the awarding of the CIVIS Media Prize for outstanding programmes.
I am delighted that the awards ceremony is being held again at the Federal Foreign Office. My warm congratulations to all nominees and prize winners in 2017!
Minister for Foreign Affairs Federal Republic of Germany