The Mobile Advisory Team within the Brandenburg Institute for Local Community Advice
- contributes, through advice, facilitation and information to the strengthening and development of comprehensively democratic qualities in society throughout Brandenburg's communities and regions.
- advises all social initiatives and private individuals - from the concerned parent through to the full-time or honorary mayor, from the district network for tolerance to the local voluntary fire brigade, from entrepreneur to district administrator.
- has as its goal the mutual development and safeguarding of democratic core values, the strengthening of individuals’ responsibility for their own actions, and defence against and the prevention of right-wing extremist and racist developments and attacks.
The Mobile Advisory Team (MBT) has been working in Brandenburg's local communities since September 1998 as part of the action plan "Tolerant Brandenburg - towards a strong and living democracy" of the federal state government. The work of the MBT Brandenburg first began in 1992. By 1998, the basic approaches for the work to be done had been developed in a small team.
Now there are six regional MBTs, each with two employees:
- Angermünde: Barnim und Uckermark
- Cottbus: Elbe-Elster, Oberspreewald-Lausitz, Spree-Neisse and Cottbus
- Frankfurt (Oder): Märkisch-Oderland, Landkreis Oder-Spree, Frankfurt (Oder)
- Neuruppin: Prignitz, Ostprignitz-Ruppin and Oberhavel
- Potsdam: Potsdam-Mittelmark, Havelland, Brandenburg/Havel and Potsdam
- Trebbin: Teltow-Fläming und Dahme-Spreewald
The central office in Potsdam supervises mutual support within the team, coordinates cross-regional requirements and is responsible for the external representation of the MBT.
In short, the MBT's work means: help towards self-help, for a democratic culture within the federal state of Brandenburg – and combating violence, right-wing extremism and xenophobia.
- "Right-wing extremists" in Parliament...
Wherever right-wing extremists are elected to county and local councils, democratic players - elected representatives, employees of the public administration and mayors - are faced with the question: How are they to deal with the right-wing extremist elected representatives and their supporters? What may a person do, what must a person do, how should a person behave? In such situations, the MBT provides advice to individuals and groups, conducts workshops and discussion meetings and thus gives democratic players more confidence in their actions.
Support for democratic local initiatives...
Civil society groups and networks for tolerance and democracy have established themselves nationwide as key structures in the promotion of a democratic culture. The MBT has helped with the establishment of a great variety of groups, has facilitated meetings and has supported groups clarifying their ideas and issues. The MBT supports the further work of such networks through regular advice in the form of workshops and retreats, which also contribute to the development of the organisation and secure the alliances’ long-term stability and capacity to act.
Promotion of integration processes...
Whenever administrative districts search for and select sites for the accommodation of refugees, conflicts of all kinds often arise. Not infrequently, residents react with questions, anxieties and concerns, including wholesale rejection. The MBT accompanies these processes, providing advice and facilitation, and acting as an intermediary between the opposing parties. Transparent communication and the active involvement of citizens and players in civil society can prevent right-wing extremists from fuelling the flames locally, and can likewise create space for those people who wish to support the integration of the refugees. Often, the MBT also advises initiatives campaigning for a positive welcome culture for refugees.
Reaction to right-wing extremist rallies...
Time and again in the past, right-wing extremist organisations have put towns and communities under pressure with rallies and demonstrations on a great variety of issues causes. In such situations the MBT advises public administration, politicians and civil society, supporting each in finding appropriate ways of dealing with these events and helping them to expand the range of options available for possible courses of action.
Initiation of participation processes in the local community...
Regardless of the target audience or age group: through its advice work and the organisation of large group workshops and conferences the MBT provides targeted support for participation processes in local communities and in this way strengthens democratic culture through the active participation of large numbers of people in Brandenburg. Through this, many local communities have been able to successfully counteract an atmosphere dominated by a lack of prospects, the rural exodus and disenchantment with politics.