Successful networking trip

On 29 October to 3 November 2016, Citizens of Europe travelled to Ukraine with 25 NGO representatives from Germany and other European countries. The event was organised in coordination with the European Movement Germany (EBD), a platform of about 250 pro-integrationist German organisations and institutions Citizens of Europe is member of. Part of the delegation were representatives of the European Movements in Finland, Switzerland and Serbia. The project received financial support by the German Federal Foreign Office.

The project aimed at improving knowledge about and understanding for Ukraine and at establishing intensified relations with Ukrainian organisations. Ten Ukrainian representatives from all over Ukraine were invited to participate. During the visit in Kyiv in order to contribute their knowledge to all debates within the group. The mornings we spent on pre-defined topics like the recent Ukrainian past and the Maidan revolution, the current political situation, and the role of civil society. In the afternoons we visited various different NGOs such as German political foundations and business representations, trade unions, think tanks, and humanitarian organisations.

The part involving most people was contact fair in the Kyiv town hall on 2 November with about 140 participants meeting in groups on youth activities, education, culture and science and international platforms in order to explore possibilities for future cooperation. On the next morning, David Stulik from the EU representation and the Polish ambassador Jan Pieklo visited us for a debate on Ukraine’s future. The participants left with many insights and new contacts. Various contacts were made and some cooperations were already agreed upon. Citizens of Europe as also the European Movement Germany will keep working on civil diplomacy activities of that kind in order to create mutually beneficial bonds between central and eastern European civil society organisations.