Dirk Wiese, Coordinator for Intersocietal Cooperation with Russia, Central Asia and the Eastern Partnership Countries, welcomes the results of the budget decision. For 2019, a total of 18 million euros have been made available to promote civil society cooperation with the Eastern Partnership countries and Russia. In this connection, Dirk Wiese issued the following statement today (23 November):
I am delighted that we will be able to promote dialogue between Germany and its eastern neighbours even more intensively than we have done in the past. There is a huge demand from civil society. This is an outstanding way to invest these funds.
Particularly in difficult times, we support dialogue and exchange between the many dedicated people who are working to strengthen and promote democracy in their countries. That not only takes the form of bilateral projects: many applications also concern projects in which Russian and Ukrainian non-governmental organisations cooperate with German NGOs, for example. Contact between committed citizens is particularly important in politically problematic fields. We are eager to foster real dialogue between societies so that we can get to know our neighbours in Eastern Europe better, and they us. That applies especially to the younger generations.
The goal of the Federal Foreign Office programme is to expand cooperation with civil society in the Eastern Partnership countries (Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova, Ukraine) and in Russia in the spirit of a “foreign policy of societies”.