Cooperation and Development Network Eastern Europe (CDN) is a capacity-building network of youth organisations committed to the development and implementation of Green ideas in Eastern Europe. As of 2021, CDN gathers 14 member and 6 partner organisations – youth wings of Green parties and NGOs whose work is rooted in Green values. CDN’s political focus is on Eastern Europe where the organisation works with local partners. CDN also collaborates with organisations and activists from the rest of Europe who want to support a Green Eastern Europe.
What do we stand for?
We, the Cooperation and Development Network Eastern Europe (CDN), are committed to upholding and advancing the values of the Green movement. We believe that the well-being of people and the flourishing of the environment are closely linked and that one cannot defend the interests of one while forgetting the other. We are convinced that a radical change of our current social, political, and economic institutions is necessary. Eastern Europe – where issues such as corruption, pollution and discrimination loom large – can only profit from a Green vision. We strive for a world in which human rights are upheld, the genders are truly equal, people actively participate in democracy, minorities are included, and the environment is protected.
We believe that human and social rights are fundamental everywhere and that global affairs must be conducted in a spirit of peace, solidarity and fairness. As Greens, we know that our values are interrelated and that solutions are sustainable only when these values mutually support each other.
(CDN Political Platform, as decided by the delegates of CDN General Assembly, February 2017, Zagreb, Croatia)
After the fall of the Iron Curtain in Eastern Europe, this region has faced great problems with the transformation of their societies towards modern democracy and human rights principles. The burden from the Communist era has remained a significant obstacle to way of thinking and created number of problems escalating nationalism and hate.
At the beginning of the 21st century young people still have very little influence on changes in society despite the fact that they are not only a fundamental part of society, but also very important actors of change. Therefore for any grass-roots changes in the east there is a higher need for direct participation of young people in society. The most significant problem is that both the current establishment, be it former communist or modern western, and the political structures prevent young people from having real power.
Youth is not seen as an active and equal actor on political, social, cultural and economic spheres: It is considered as “future” in shiny speeches, but never as “present”. Young people are excluded from decision-making process; they are asked to be object in the society, and never the subject.
We regard youth as having a crucial, active and direct role to play in the development of a sustainable and democratic society. This role puts great demand on co-learning, share of knowledge and experiences, and active collaboration for young people, especially on international and inter-cultural levels.
CDN is founded as an answer for this need in 2002. With an active collaboration and support of FYEG and Green Forum Sweden, CDN is now a network of Young Greens in Eastern Europe which supports the Young Green organisations in the region. CDN is focused on but not limited to study sessions, seminars, summer camps and other regular co-learning activities among constant communication and collaboration between its member organisations.(From CDN Political Platform , as decided by delegates of CDN General Assembly, 21. June 2003, Ohrid, Macedonia)