The changes that took place at the beginning of the 1990s led us to believe that whole of Europe would soon become a continent where people would have equal opportunities, their human rights would be respected and the openness of society would provide them with the opportunity for a good life. The situation has been gradually moving towards this goal as a result of common integration initiatives; however the situation at present day remains still far from the ideal.
The space for young people remains limited in the whole of Eastern Europe. Visa obstacles, expensive travel costs and lack of cooperation between countries in the region remain huge problems. It is sad to know that in some of the countries of Eastern Europe the vast majority of young people have never travelled abroad and instead are dealing with basic survival needs while trying to make a change and finding a role to play in the society.
At the same time, the green movement today is close to a standstill and divided in almost all the countries in the east, and is therefore unable to provide these young people with the chance to take active role and learn about the green vision of the future. Needless to say, this affects directly the long term perspective for the whole movement and the idea.
Cooperation between young greens in Eastern Europe in the past was limited in its scope to random initiatives and meetings mostly connected to participation in wider European meetings, conferences and seminars. At the beginning of the new millennium, the Federation of Young European Greens shifted its focus to initiatives coming from the Balkans, which was followed by a growth in interest among local young greens groups. In 2001 the first Balkans summer camp was organised and at the sustainable development seminar in July 2002 the idea of cooperation was born. At this meeting it was concluded that there existed a clear need for the creation of a cooperative platform for the realization of ideas, topics and needs of young greens from Eastern Europe. The enthusiasm and energy experienced there was extraordinary.
On February 15th 2003 this idea became reality. Cooperation and Development Network Eastern Europe (CDN) was created as a result of this common initiative at the first Network Meeting of young greens from Eastern Europe that took place in Belgrade, Serbia from 14th to 16th of February, with the support of the Green Forum Foundation from Sweden and the Federation of Young European Greens. At the following Network Meeting in Ohrid, Macedonia in June 2003, the basic organisational documents were decided upon - the statutes and the political platform, defining our believes, the principles of work, aims and objectives, organisational structure and the methods for realisation of common goals. Since then, CDN has developed its work further and is becoming the focal point for cooperation between young greens in this part of the world.
In past years CDN has developed a number of international cooperation projects (seminars, conferences, summer camps, study sessions and youth exchanges), developed many contacts and long term partnerships in the region and all over Europe and become a platform for the advancement of the green movement in Eastern Europe: educating, developing and supporting its member organisations in their work and progress. The number of member organisations from Eastern Europe (Non EU European countries) and partner organisations (EU countries) increases every year at the annual Network Meetings.
Thanks to the vital support to our work and activities by the Green Forum, Sweden, the Council of Europe, the European Youth Foundation and the Federation of Young European Greens, CDN is getting closer to the realisation of its full potential in responding to the needs and the interest of young greens from Eastern Europe
Our core values of democracy, human rights and sustainable development remain the base for our cooperation, a cooperation that enables many young people to move from problems into sustainable solutions.
Topics that we have tackled in previous years have been the focus of great interest, not just for the hosts of our activities, but for all the other organisations in the region - therefore we can conclude that most of our problems are shared. A youth vision that comes from the actual people in question and not from one central point in is the only way to create a real solution for those problems! CDN is serving as a tool to enable young greens from Eastern European countries to work together, develop their interests and potentials, spread their message and amplify the effect of their work.
CDN wants to support the new generation of greens in their progress and joint cooperation. Our mission is to sustain young greens by providing them a unique space with a number of opportunities. As a network we are encouraging and carrying out activities to educate young greens on green politics, democratic ways of working, human rights and sustainability as the essence of the development of future society. Through our work we want to ensure that there is a future for the greens in the region and that these people will soon take responsibilities in their organisations or within society, taking a green, sustainable approach to the work they will carry.
We work and believe...
Decided by CDN Executive Committee in January 2006
You can find some of our main internal documents on the left side menu
TO THE TOP