German-Russian Youth Parliament in Perm

Together with the Russian organisation “Step by Step” and the support of the “Foundation German-Russian Youth Exchange”, Citizens of Europe organised a German-Russian Youth Parliament in Perm, Russia from 8 – 13 September 2008. The event intended to strengthen the mutual understanding of young German and Russian people in order to foster a lively exchange about topical political questions and to intensify the ties between Germany and Russia. 

 About 40 young people from Germany and Russia were invited to the Ural city of Perm in order to have a fruitful discussion on the fields of civil society, economy, environment and media and to develop common ideas for future German-Russian projects. During one week, the young parliamentarians worked on these issues in different parliamentary committees and participated in the general debate in the plenary sessions. Additionally, the participants enjoyed a large supporting programme in Perm and the region. 

Parliamentary Committees Within the parliamentary committees the participants initially identified the problems of different policy fields which are relevant both for each country and for the relations between Germany and Russia in particular – but also for the European-Russian relations in general. The participants worked in four different parliamentary committees: Committee on Civil Society, Committee on Economy, Committee on Media, and Committee on Environment. Based on a brief problem diagnosis the parliamentarians drafted ideas for projects which meet these challenges and foster the exchange between the people of both countries in each committee. 

Plenary Session The debate in the plenary session focussed on the preparation of a common resolution which covered the issues of the different committees, identified the challenges of each policy field, and suggested possible solutions to the respective challenges. The aim of this document was to provide a common basis and a common understanding of the problems both countries are faced with. Furthermore, the various project proposals elaborated by the committees were presented, discussed, and evaluated. The plenum voted on the individual project proposals and decided which projects should be pursued. 

Conclusions of the Parliamentarians Civil Society: The committee stressed the significance of the individual person and its free development as a key element of civil society. Additionally, the importance of personal skills, resources, and commitment for a functioning and vibrant civil society was emphasised. Economy: The Committee on Economy addressed the challenges of young entrepreneurs in terms of successful and independent economic activity. The members of the committee called in particular for intensifying exchange and cooperation between Germany and Russia in order to strengthen the economic ties between both countries. Media: The committee criticized the limited economic independence of the media and the lack of quality in media reporting. The participants called also upon the professionalism of journalists and argued for balanced, instructive, and high-quality press. Environment: The members of the Committee on Environment identified environmental pollution caused by garbage, deforestation as well as water and air pollution as the most serious problems not only in Germany and Russia but in the whole world. The committee argued in particular for the deepening the cooperation between German and Russian environmental organizations.

More information on the concept (in German): Perm-info.pdf 

More information on the concept (in Russian): Perm-info-rus.pdf 

Contact: Andreas Heindl