New German Strategy to Support Dealing with the Past and Reconciliation


Natascha Zupan

As major milestones towards the implementation of the Guidelines on Preventing Crises, Resolving Conflicts, Building Peace, the German Government has launched a comprehensive Strategy to Support Dealing with the Past and Reconciliation. The new interministerial strategy provides a conceptual framework for dealing with the past and is based on a holistic understanding of justice, peacebuilding and development. Moreover, it defines goals, four fields of action and mechanisms to further coordination and coherence.

The goals and fields of action are:

  1. Strengthening the linkages between dealing with the past and prevention,i.e. supporting political reform processes to prevent renewed violence and injustice (guarantees of non-recurrence);
  2. Strengthening the participation and representation of communities particularly affected by violence, and transforming conflict narratives;
  3. Promoting gender equality in dealing with the past processes, and addressing and ending sexual and gender-based violence;
  4. Advancing its international engagement in transitional justice by capitalising on the multifaceted experiences of Germany’s intergenerational dealing with the past processes – including the associated controversies, weaknesses, fractures, contradictions and compromises.

The Government will set up an interministerial, cross-sectoral Working Group on Dealing with the Past, whose remit will also include the two other strategies adopted, namely the Interministerial Strategy to Support Security Sector Reform and the Strategy of the Federal Government for Promoting the Rule of Law. This working group aims to strengthen joint analysis and understanding, coordination and collective impact. The Government is also committed to promoting dialogue and mutual learning with civil society and academia.

FriEnt and its member organizations have been actively involved in the dialogue and consultation processes which accompanied the drafting of the Government’s Guidelines and the three strategies.

We are particularly grateful to everyone who contributed to last year’s PeaceLab Blog on Dealing with the Past, which provided in-depth experience and key recommendations for the strategy.

Our blog “Dealing with the Past – Exchange and Reflect” aims to build on and continue this learning and exchange process. It focuses on particular challenges to support the implementation of the strategy.  

Further posts will be devoted to each of the priorities. 

Share this post

Recommended Readings

Dealing with the Past and Reconciliation (Transitional Justice)
in the Context of Preventing Crises, Resolving Conflicts and Building Peace
The Federal Government | 2019

Transforming Transitional Justice
PeaceLab blog on dealing with the past
FriEnt | 2019

Guidelines on Preventing Crises, Resolving Conflicts, Building Peace
Federal Government of Germany | 2017