Open call for Prep-Team: Training “Cities for All – How?”

The Green European Foundation with the support of Cooperation and Development Network Eastern Europe is announcing a call for Prep-Team members for the international training “Cities for All – How?”. The seminar will take place between 26th and 31st of July in Croatia.

The project is the second phase of our 2021 Annual Work Plan “Cities for All – inclusive Urban planning and decision making in the Eastern European cities” and is going to focus on developing the advocacy skills of young activists to shape a more inclusive, LGBT+ friendly and safe cities for everyone in the local contexts.

Objectives of the “Cities for all – How?” are:

  1. To develop the participants’ skills of creative and efficient campaigning for spreading the message to the wider public;
  2. Create  a space to explore the new tools and strategies, adapted to the struggles of young LGBT+ individuals and women in the cities, for  lobbying the demands to the different stakeholders;
  3. Equipping  the participants with the skills of working with the local communities  and organising outreach activities on the local level, that encourage  young people’s active mobilisation around the topic of Cities for all.
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Open call for Participants for the Online course “Cities for all: Why?”

The Green European Foundation with the support of Cooperation and Development Network Eastern Europe is announcing a call for Participants for the online course  “Cities for all: why?”. 

This online course is phase one of the Annual Work Plan of CDN, “Cities for all: Inclusive urban planning and decision making in the Eastern European cities”. The online course will be taking place on online learning platform of the Green European Foundation during May 2021. Aside from interactive educational content on the platform, you will have opportunity to learn, have fun and meet new people on weekly meetings, webinars with experts and workshops. Zoom meetings will happen on Mondays (at 18:00 CET), Wednesdays (at 18:00 CET) and Saturdays (at 12:00 CET). All webinars will be recorded and sent to the participants of the OC. All participants will receive a workbook on their residence address in which they will track online course progress and other tasks.

The course attendants will be encouraged to continue their learning in the scope of project through the second phase of the Work Plan, which will take place in Croatia in July 2021 (depending on COVID situation) and involvement in both events is a precondition for applying for Local Actions sub-grant that will take place in September 2021.

Online course “Cities for all: why?”  will aim to understand how patriarchy shapes our cities, urban infrastructure and lives of urban youth and has the following objectives:

  • Provide the participants with the theoretical knowledge on how the cities are affecting the lives of young people of different genders and sexualities.
  • Create an inter-cultural safe space for young women and LGBT+ people to share their struggles and stimulate the discussion on the values, principles and the directions about the future of inclusive cities.
  • Empower the participants with the tools and analytical skills for identifying the local challenges of their communities in regards of gender inclusive city planning.
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Open Call for Prep-team: Online Course “Cities for All – Why?”

Cooperation and Development Network Eastern Europe and Gender and Alternative Urbanisation Working Groups are announcing a call for Prep-Team members for the international Online Course “Cities for All – Why?”. The OC will take place between 1st and 31st of May in Online – on Green European Foundation learning platform and Zoom.

The project is the first phase of our 2021 Annual Work Plan Cities for All – inclusive Urban planning and decision making in the Eastern European cities and is going to focus on aiming to understand how patriarchy shapes our cities, urban infrastructure and lives of urban youth.

Objectives of the OC are:

  1. To provide the participants with the theoretical knowledge on how the cities are affecting the lives of young people of different genders and sexualities.
  2. To create an inter-cultural safe space for young women and LGBT+ people to share their struggles and stimulate the discussion on the values, principles and the directions about the future of inclusive cities.
  3. Empower the participants with the tools and analytical skills for identifying the local challenges of their communities in regards of inclusive city planning.
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Work Plan “Cities for all – inclusive Urban planning and decision making in the Eastern European cities”

Project background

Urbanism and Gender are strongly related topics and should be looked at together. In many Eastern European countries, bad city planning is failing young women and LGBT+ youth. Basic safety is a top concern for women and queer people in public spaces, public toilets are often insecure for us , the streets around suburban areas do not have enough street lightning, side walks are very narrow or do not exist at all. This causes discomfort for the pedestrians and often is not safe, the number of properly functioning public toilets are very low and are strictly divided into 2, which is another concern for gender queer people. All these put young women and queer individuals under big risk of facing different types of violence, including sexual. As a result, young LGBT+ individuals and women feel insecure to leave their houses when it gets dark. Additionally, women and queer people even in the city center can be followed and face verbal abuse. Around suburban areas of the city such cases are even more extreme – in some countries, women who are seen in public in late hours can be stigmatised. All the above mentioned issues are closely tied with the class, religious and ethnic background, education and other social aspects.

This is why CDN and its Alternative Urbanisation and Gender Working Groups are organising a Work Plan that aims to empower the young activists from the Eastern Europe to reach out and influence the local authorities through advocacy for improving urban infrastructure for all.

We will do this by reaching these objectives:

  1. First, train young activists from the Eastern Europe to understand how patriarchy shapes urban infrastructure and cities through equipping them with the tools and skills to explore the connection between our habitat and Gender. 
  2. Second, to develop skills of campaigning and advocacy among young activists to shape more inclusive, LGBT+ friendly and safe cities for everyone. 
  3. Third, to enable participants with an opportunity to practice their skills and share the gained knowledge further on the local level through communicating with authorities and expressing their demands regarding public spaces and inclusive infrastructure. 
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Outsmarting the paradigm [UPDATED]

Project background and summary

The role of youth in cities has been one of CDN’s areas of work for several years now. The Network has previously organized several projects, including the Annual Work Plan “Urban Steps for Resilient Future” and a Summer School “Youth and the City: Young People for Fair and Green Cities”. Building on this work CDN is organising a series of different online activities as a part of the GEF transnational project “A Charter for the Smart City II”. 

Young people are digital natives. We embrace technologies earlier than older generations. For a couple of years now, there are lot of talks about Smart Cities, but the solutions suggested are often not very smart or sustainable. What the large corporations and governments are presenting as a “Smart City”, in reality has many elements of a technocratic dystopia, the proposed solutions are called “smart” but in reality, they are just technology oriented projects for those that can afford it. However, technology doesn’t necessarily have to have negative implications on the city. It can be used for good if directed at improving everybody’s life in the cities. We would like to explore how our cities could move towards use of digitisation to benefit us without turning the city into a place of surveillance, exploitation and exclusion.

Activities, that due to Covid-19 pandemic had to move online will include:

  1. Podcast ‘Introduction to Digital city’, available on this link
    The podcast is a result of brainstorming done by the Prepteam of the planned event “Outsmarting the paradigm”. How can we digitise a case study? Listen to the stories of two citizens and let us know the answers to the questions in the last section in the comments.
  2. Webinar ‘Inclusion and Citizens’ Rights’ 28.10.2020 at 18:00 CEST
    Our team members will make a small introduction on the topic and then the registered participants will be divided into smaller groups for a workshop. Together we can brainstorm together how to make our digital cities inclusive. The team then will sum it all up for the publication.
  3. Webinar ‘Citizen Scoring’
    Many groups of people are not aware of citizen scoring. However, some councils all over Europe are now using services to apply algorithms to public data in order to segment and “score” citizens and population groups according to their social group or “risk profile”. We will talk about citizen data scoring and what should be taken in consideration when building up a truly smart city. Webinar will be streamed on Youtube and Facebook of CDN.
  4. Manifesto
    Development process will kick off for the participants of the event, the MOs and POs and WGs of CDN. The document will be polished and again discussed at CDN GA 2021.

Aim: To explore how technologies change us and our cities and rethink the concept of smart cities from a green perspective.


  • Train young people in critical assessment of technology in cities and re-evaluate its role in the urban environment;
  • Assess the Charter for the Smart Cities through the Central and Eastern European lens; 
  • Create a platform for exchange of best practices for young people interested in exploring the connection between Urbanism and/or Technology;
  • Create a set of outputs relevant and useful for the young people in the Central and Eastern Europe tackling the connection between the Cities and Technology.
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Call for Executive Committee Member

Following the news that Elena Petrovska is joining Secretariat, we are happy to announce a call for a new Executive Committee Member (EC) that will fill in the vacant spot and work with the rest of the EC until the next General Assembly (planned to take place in March 2021)!

Being a member of the Executive Committee is a demanding and time consuming role, but it is also very rewarding and brings experience in working in a multicultural environment, possibility to contribute to CDN’s future development and meet young Greens and other Green stakeholders across the Europe.

The Executive Committee tasks: 

  • Work on the implementation of CDN’s activity plan, approved by General Assembly (including project writing, coordination, implementation and reporting);
  • Constantly communicating and updating (as well as getting updates) from Member and Partner Organisations and Network Partners; 
  • Actively being involved and ensuring the smooth work-flow of the Working Groups; 
  • Representing and promoting CDN during its and partners’ activities as well as in the digital space; 
  • Answering on challenges and making decisions till the next GA, based on the CDN Strategy, Statement and CDN best interest;
  • Actively participating in the regular (biweekly) EC meetings (that usually last 2-3h);
  • Work on creating a new Strategy document (2022-2024) of CDN.

The candidate for the Executive Committee should be: 

  • Motivated to work in an international environment;
  • Dedicated to the goals of CDN and the Green Idea; 
  • Willing and available for traveling to CDN’s and partner’s activities in case epidemiological situation allows it;
  • Daily available on the e-mail for the ongoing discussions, work and decision making, together with regular (almost weekly) online conferences, meetings with the MOs and POs, WGs and CDN online events;
  • Flexible in working and implementing online as well as live activities.

More details about responsibilities of CDN EC members can be found in the CDN Statutes and CDN Internal Rules of Procedures

Since English is the official language we use in our work, all the candidates should have good command of English (written and spoken).

The candidacy should consist of: 

DEADLINE for sending applications to is September 27th, 23:59.

The vote by Member Organizations will take place on Balotilo platform in the beginning of October, upon the presentation of the candidates that will be scheduled to take place on Zoom platform on the 4th of October at 17h CET and where registered delegates of MOs will be able to ask questions to the candidates. After this, the MOs will have 1 week to cast the votes. Elected person will be co-opted to the EC immediately after the elections.

EC Candidate

Ivanna Madiar Application CV Support letter

Standing in solidarity with the people of Belarus

Last Sunday marked the fourth consecutive weekend of demonstrations in Belarus. Protests against Lukashenko’s rule have continued across Belarus since the 9th August, the date when presidential election took place. The election’s result was widely regarded as rigged, and rejected by the EU and US as neither free, nor fair. For the past three Sundays, the center of Minsk has been crammed with crowds of 100,000 to 200,000 protesters. Protests also took place in major cities throughout Belarus. These protests have been met with brutal police violence, political persecution of opposition figures and thousands of detention of free protesters. 


While the election date was approaching, opposition leaders and candidates were subjected to massive crackdown from Lukashenko’s rule. Given the political oppression, Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya (main opposition candidate) entered the race following the arrest of her husband, who was blocked from registering as a candidate. The image of three independent women (Sviatlana and Veronika Tsepkalo, Maria Kolesnikova) brought hope to the Belarusian people for the August 9th elections.

Protest bringing all the communities together

Marches and demonstrations by women have become a frequent feature of the protests in Belarus. For the first time, supporters of LGBTQ+ rights appeared with rainbow flags in the women’s march in Minsk on Saturday.

Detentions and casualties

The interior ministry confirmed on Monday (7th September) that at least 633 arrests had been made across the republic. It said some 363 people had been sent to detention centers pending court hearings. Belarus police haven’t spared even the students. They marked the start of the academic year with protests against leader Lukashenko. Massive protests have recorded at least four casualties and hundreds injured as the government tries to halt the protests. 

Political persecution of opposition leaders

Belarusian authorities have recently targeted the opposition National Co-ordination Council, which was set up by opposition leader Tikhanovskaya to handle the transfer of power and includes figures from across society.  Government authorities have launched a criminal case against opposition leaders, saying the “creation and activity of the Co-ordination Council are aimed at the seizure of state power, and at harming national security”.
Another female activist, Olga Kovalkova, announced on previous week she had fled to Poland amid threats of imprisonment. She said that authorities had told her she would face further arrests if she did not leave the country.
Maria Kolesnikova is the last one left in Belarus of three female politicians who joined forces before the August 9th  election to challenge the  Alexander Lukashenko’s regime.
Kolesnikova was detained by masked men right after announcing that she was forming a new political party.  During last Sunday’s rally, she tried to enter the presidential palace to talk to the Belarusian leader but was told he would not negotiate with the opposition. An eyewitness reported to Belarus media that she saw masked men take Kolesnikova’s mobile phone and pushed her into a minibus on Monday (7th September) morning. Later on media reported that Kolesnikova was transported to the Ukrainian border and threatened that if she didnt leave the country, she would face imprisonment. She prevented the expelling by tearing up her passport. Together with her lawyer, Koleksnikova is opening a criminal case against KGB and Belarusian Security Forces. 

Internet shutdown and attack on media

The IT sector has been repeatedly undermined with the internet shutdowns, as a disruption form against the protesters. Additionally to these, the authorities in Belarus have revoked the accreditation for several journalists working for foreign media. Cases of deported were also recorded. 

EU stance 

EU leaders do not recognize the results of the election and have agreed to impose sanctions on Belarus authorities accountable for the violence against protesters. The Baltic nations of Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia have blacklisted Lukashenko and 29 high-ranking officials in his administration. 

The strong reaction of “a strong” leader 

 The Belarus leader has denied accusations by the opposition and Western countries that the vote was rigged.  Lukashenko has accused Western nations of interfering,  in particular Poland and Lithuania, of trying to impose regime change. On at least two occasions he has been photographed near his residence in Minsk carrying a gun and being surrounded by his heavily armed security personnel.

Join our solidarity campaign:

What you can do: 

* take a picture holding a banner where it is written #FreeBelarus

* once you take the picture, publish it on social media. Make sure you tag CDN in the post (IG: @cdnee/ FB: @CDNEE)  

* Alongside with the picture, you can write a short solidarity statement.   

We will make sure we share and disseminate all these posts in CDN’s social media! Let’s show to the people in Belarus that they are not alone in their fight against police brutality and for free elections!    

Study Session “Work that Works for all: Shaping Europe’s Future of Work”

Young people today feel more and more disengaged with participation in organisations, activism or decision-making structures as the economic and social difficulties they face persevere. There is a discrepancy between guaranteed social rights and what is experienced by young people in reality. On top of issues, such as job insecurity or unpaid internships, discrimination at work, unfair working conditions and precarity are the challenges young people face across Europe.

Globalisation and technological advancements – in digitisation in particular – have been very influential in shaping young people’s current situation on the labour market, with particular effects on the types and quality of jobs available.

Age-based discrimination is the most prevalent form of discrimination at work, with young workers among those reporting the highest levels of discrimination.

Until today, there are no functioning labour legislations that protect the population in many Eastern member states of the CoE. The fatal occupational accidents in the Commonwealth of Independent States are majorly caused by open contact with hazardous substances and the lack of safety norms at construction. In some countries (Georgia, Russia, Belarus and Greece) there is no Labour inspection, or it is not mandatory. In most cases there are no support mechanisms for advocating for decent working conditions and the demands of the youth is often opposed to the interests of the investors, causing the states fail to implement the recommendations of the CoE. In addition to that, the social protection schemes and welfare systems in the region are very weak or nonexistent.

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General Assembly and Strategic Planning Meeting 2020 Report

Cooperation and Development Network Eastern Europe held its 11th General Assembly in Ratomka, Belarus 3-8th of March 2020. The General Assembly was hosted by our Member Organisation, Belarus Young Greens.

The General Assembly was preceded by the Strategic Planning Meeting (4-5 March) which served as a starting point for discussion the Strategy 2022-24 with Member Organisations, Partner Organisations and Working Groups. The new Strategy Document will be developed throughout the year by Executive Committee and MOs, POs and Wgs will be invited to give feedback in different phases. SPM was also used to asses the implementation of current Strategy that is stated in the Strategy Document 2019-21, adopted last year by GA in Istanbul.

The GA that took place 6-7 March, once again, decided on the direction the Network should take over the next year by adopting the Activity and Financial Plan, by electing the new EC, and by adding amendments on Internal Rules of Procedure, Political Platform and Strategy Statement 2019-21. Alongside the debates and voting, the delegates had a chance to engage in different sessions organised by the EC, Working Groups, host organisation, FYEG and EGP.

The newly elected Executive Committee consists of Elena Petrovska (Serbian Green Youth), Giorgi Ptskialadze (Georgian Young Greens), Ledina Cela (Albanian Young Greens), Maja Klimentic (Revolt) and Palina Burko (Belarus Young Greens).

Moreover, we are happy to welcome new members of the Network whose candidacies were approved by the GA: Frontline Youth Network from Armenia as MO, Protest from Latvia as PO and Swedish Young Greens as OO.

We want to say big thank you to all delegates, candidates, guests and host organisation who contributed to another amazing GA which we leave with big plans and and EC motivated to pursue them.

The following documents are from or adopted by the General Assembly 2020:

  1. Internal Rules and Procedures [PDF]
  2. Political Platform [PDF]
  3. Strategy Statement 2019-2021 [PDF]
  4. Minutes to be approved by the GA 2021 [PDF]

Open call for Participants: Seminar “Art as Shelter” [Extended]

Cooperation and Development Network Eastern Europe and Gender Working Group are announcing a call for Participants for the international seminar “Art as Shelter”. The seminar will take place between 7th – 11th April in Tirana, Albania ( 6 and 12 are travel dates to and from Albania for the participants).

The project is the first phase of our annual work plan Art for the Young, the Queer, the Feminists of Eastern Europe” and is going to focus on how to contribute to the creation of inclusive and sensitive political environment by understanding power dynamics in patriarchal society and by empowering young women, transgender, non-binary, agender, gender queer and intersex people and broaden safe space and claim more private and political space through art.

This way we would like empower the participants with tools to broaden safe space and claim more private and political space through non-formal education and art. In particular, we would like:

  • To build understanding of patriarchy as a dominant power that operates in the society and feminism as a theory and strategy to challenge dominant power relations;
  • To create an intercultural safe space for young women, transgender, non-binary, genderqueer, agender and intersex people to share their private and political struggles and to explore tools to counteract them;
  • To use art to empower young women, transgender, non-binary, genderqueer, agender and intersex people to stand up against patriarchy and broaden the safe space by giving visibility to women* through art.
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