Tenth Eastern European Academy for Social Democracy

Changing Times (“Zeitenwende”)

Dialogue program and training for young leaders who are active in progressive parties or youth organizations, young members of parliaments or city councils, junior government officials and civic activists from Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Germany, Moldova and Ukraine.


The FES Regional Office “Dialogue Eastern Europe” invites young progressive leaders aged 25-35 years to apply for the 10th Eastern European Academy for Social Democracy. Our event will take place from 5th until 10th September 2022 in Germany (Berlin and its surroundings).

Our 10th Academy for Social Democracy will focus on Germany’s role in Europe amidst new geopolitical realities, on what’s behind the German word “Zeitenwende” (“Changing Times”) – and what a new German Foreign Policy approach could mean for the EaP Region.

After Russia’s devastating war on Ukraine, our region – and the world – will never be the same. Not only all countries in the EaP Region, all of which are particularly affected by the war and its implications through their proximity to Russia, but also the EU and its member states, including its key member state Germany have to ask themselves what their future foreign and security policy has to look like now and which lessons can be drawn from the pre-war past.

The German Chancellor Olaf Scholz went as far to announce a “Zeitenwende” – the beginning of a new era. This expression has now become frequently used in Germany and describes roughly three different developments: an increased military budget, a new Russia policy and a reduction of energy dependencies. With the concept comes also the readiness to take over greater responsibility when it comes to defending European values and as a key member state in the foreign and security policy dimension of the European Union.

But the “Zeitenwende” is a complex concept and not everyone shares the view that Germany is ready for it – partly because it is not clear to everyone what exact role Germany is actually ready and willing to play. Especially in Ukraine German foreign policy is sometimes under heavy criticism these days – despite clear commitments of the German government and first visible changes in Germany.

So: How and to what extent is Germany’s Foreign and Security Policy (and its Energy Policy) actually changing? What does “Zeitenwende” really mean? And is it relevant for our region after all or is it “too little to late and too much Germany-focused” as some say?

We would like to discuss all of these questions and more with the participants of our 10th Academy for Social Democracy in Berlin and surroundings – and give you a chance to directly talk with German experts and policy makers about Germany’s future role in the region and beyond.

In the course of a diverse 5-day-program, participants take part in discussions with top experts, politicians and activists – and they will also have the opportunity to develop soft skills and learn how to reach a consensus in a politically diverse environment. Be a part of it!

Goals of the program:

  • The academy primarily aims to motivate applicants who are committed to (social) democratic values and who are interested in promoting the political dialogue between the different Eastern Partnership countries and the European Union.
  • In addition to the facilitation of peaceful dialogue, a mutual understanding, and the exchange of views on social democratic policies, the academy offers participatory workshops on practical key competences and soft skills.
  • The program will give deep insights into the political situation in the region and Europe and will provide the opportunity for high-level discussions with politicians and civil society activists.
  • The academy is based on a growing sustainable network of Eastern European future leaders who enable dialogue among young, committed, and progressive participants being open to new ideas and approaches.

Program overview:

  • Our academy takes place in different countries several times a year focusing on various topics and workshops
  • The program consists of science- and experienced-based inputs as well as interactive discussions with top experts and decision-makers from Eastern Europe and EU.
  • During the past academies, participants developed soft skills in trainings such as strategic planning, conflict-management and training of trainers (ToT) or participated in simulations and scenario workshops.
  • The working language of the program is English.
  • All costs related to the program will be covered by the organizers.

Candidates’ requirements:

  • Citizenship of Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Germany, Moldova, and Ukraine.
  • Between 25 and 35 years old.
  • Fluency in English.
  • Young leaders from progressive political parties or youth organizations; young members of parliaments or city councils, junior government officials and civic activists.
  • Willingness to actively take part in Alumni activities, to constantly support a growing sustainable progressive network of like-minded people and to be involved in the organization of political programs in the respective home countries.
  • Participants of previous academies are also welcome to apply.

Application process:

  • To apply, please fill in the application form and submit your CV (it is obligatory to indicate your name and surname in the file) to the following address: vitalii.khomenko [at] fes.de (the application is complete only if both documents are submitted on time).
  • The application deadline is July 31st at 11:59 pm (Kyiv time). Later applications will not be accepted or evaluated.
  • Our decision will be announced before August 10th. Shortlisted candidates may be invited for a skype interview.
  • The organization team aims to ensure a gender balance.
  • Please note that you might need a valid vaccination certificate due to the COVID-19 pandemic restrictions.


Andrusevič, Andrej; Andrusevič, Natalija; Miščuk, Zorjana

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