Published October 20, 2021 | Version 1.0
Working paper Open

A modern administration is a prerequisite for Germany's future viability and democracy

  • 1. Bundesamt für die Sicherheit der nuklearen Entsorgung
  • 2. BMAS
  • 3. Hertie School Berlin
  • 4. BMI
  • 5. Leuphana University Lüneburg
  • 6. University of Potsdam
  • 7. SPRIND
  • 8. DigitalServicesWork4Germany
  • 9. BMU
  • 10. HafenCity University Hamburg
  • 11. Senat Berlin
  • 12. Cocreation Foundation
  • 13. CityLAB Berlin
  • 14. Dezernat Zukunft
  • 15. BMWi
  • 16. HPI School of Design Thinking
  • 17. CyberInnovation Hub


Germany is facing enormous challenges: The climate crisis and the destruction of ecosystems, the Covid-19 pandemic, and rapid demographic and technological change cannot be adequately addressed in Germany's traditional administrative structures. Instead, a fundamental cultural change is needed in the public administration in order to be able to lead Germany more quickly, anticipatorily and effectively through the next decades of transformation. This includes, in particular, a new self-conception of the administration as well as agile processes, state-of-the-art competencies, a horizontal and vertical opening of the state, serious public participation and transparency, institutionalised cooperation with civil society, science as well as business, and bottom-up federalism among other points.

For us co-authors, the modernisation of public administration has become a question of the future viability of our country and our democracy. It is not just a matter of overcoming challenges, crises and a digital and socio-ecological transformation, but also of being able to organise our democratic community well, preserve it and develop it further in the coming decades.

In this paper, we have contributed our many years of professional experience in administration, academia, science and transformation and innovation projects. We are united in our belief of a modern and effective administration as a prerequisite for a strong democracy. 

We are committed to putting cultural change and the modernisation of the administration on the agenda as a central goal for the new legislative period. In the work of the coming government, the question of HOW the agreed political agenda can be implemented effectively and quickly must have as much importance as the question of content. Here, our proposal refers in particular to the federal level, in order to influence from there other political-administrative levels (federal states, municipalities) as well as other areas of the public sector.



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