After the collapse of the Soviet Union, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova, Ukraine and the Russian Federation, among the other former member states of the Soviet Union, faced tremendous challenges related to the political and economic transformation. All states had to redesign their administrative and bureaucratic structure, and at the same time they were confronted with the collapse of their economic and social structures. In addition, foreign policy conflicts have arisen in the region, which mean a growing geopolitical importance to the region's future.
More than 25 years since the beginning of the transformation, a new generation of political leaders has emerged, who have made their first experiences especially in the aftermath of the collapse of the USSR. This generation can hardly be compared with the still predominantly Soviet character of their parents' generation. At the same time, the massive political conflicts in the region also influence the thinking and fate of this generation of new Leaders.
As the young generation has proven to be the driving force in all transformation processes in the region, the project activity “Regional Dialogue of Young Leaders” is aimed at increasing political education and at encouraging young people to participate in political life of their respective countries. At the same time, all activities are focused on building dialogue in-between neighbours.
Core goals of our activities
Mutual understanding between neighbouring countries and a prosperous future of nations strongly depends on the future generation of leaders, the assurance of human rights, and economic development based on the principles of social equality.
In the framework of our activities within the “Regional Dialogue of Young Leaders” we are working with young leaders, who are open for building bridges in the regional context, especially between the Eastern Partnership countries (EaP) and the Russian Federation. All the projects in the framework of this regional young leaders’ program are aimed at promoting of peaceful dialogue, at finding a consensus in conflict situations and at the exchange of social democratic policies, principles, and values.
Main objective is to strengthen political, scientific, and cultural exchange between the young people within the region and to create a sustainable network that will gather young progressive activists - politically and socially active people from EaP countries and Russia, who will enforce the peaceful transformation processes and will implement changes in both domestic and external policy of the respective countries.
The target group of the “Regional Dialogue of Young Leaders” projects are:
The projects in frames of the “Regional Dialogue of Young Leaders” activities incorporate different formats of educational activities:
The most important projects that have been already successfully launched in the framework of the “Regional Dialogue of Young Leaders” are:
1) The Eastern European Regional Academy for Social Democracy – a long-term project that is primarily aimed each time at around 25 candidates from Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Germany, Moldova, Ukraine and Russia who are committed to social democratic values, active in progressive groups or political parties, young Members of Parliament, trade unions and/or civil society activists, or working in executive organs of their country. The project is based on a growing progressive network in these countries with frequent re-participation of alumni participants. You can find reports of three academies that have taken place here, here and here.
2) Youth Studies - countries-wide empirical analytical insights into the young generation’s perceptions, awareness, expectations, and approaches towards the changing realities. The studies determine challenges young people face and urgent tasks within the society and politics in the Eastern Partnership countries and the Russian Federation. It also shows what values are common for the youth in all these countries and what is their vision of Eastern Europe’s future. Results of already done FES youth studies you can find here.
3) The Eastern Partnership Think Bridge is a platform uniting expert communities in the countries of Eastern Partnership region to fill the gap in distributing analytical products for stakeholders. Unified by the Eastern Partnership policy, the countries are mainly focused on the cooperation with European institutions. At the same time, they disregard the substantial potential of the partnership within the region. After all, despite the geographical proximity, shared past, and, to the great extent, similar difficulties, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova, and Ukraine extremely differ from each other in terms of their political and social situation. Nevertheless, the neighbours take it slow to learn from each other’s success or failures. And sometimes they just do not get accurate information from neighbouring countries, especially given the widespread influence of propaganda. Bringing together expert communities of the Eastern Partnership, the EaP Think Bridge Initiative aims to tackle this problem. This bridge between the leading think tanks of the region is an opportunity to receive the latest first-hand analytics. More you can find under: prismua.org/en/eap-think-bridge/
All the projects are based on the principles of:
- Action-oriented learning;
- Practical introduction of innovative concepts;
- Combination of the theory and practice;
- Adhere to gender equality and support women participation in the politics and policy making;
- Conflict transformation and prevention;
- Supporting the peaceful transformation processes in the Eastern Partnership countries and the Russian Federation.
All the “Regional Dialogue of Young Leaders” projects are meant to be sustainable and are followed by impact monitoring activities, projects follow-ups and alumni meetings and other networking events.
The Regional Office “Dialogue Eastern Europe” encourages and supports alumni’s joint projects that are aimed on tightening cooperation and on piece/dialogue building between youth within or between youth coming from the Eastern Partnership countries and Russia.