We promote the dialog between Germany, countries of Central and Eastern Europe, in particular Russia, Ukraine, Belarus and other countries of Eastern partnership that plays a key part in the development of a European civil society and societies beyond the European Union. Europe is more than the European Union. We promote permeable borders surrounding the European Union. We oppose any ‘fortress mentality’ on either side.
Meeting, dialogue and equal cooperation between the people of Germany, Ukraine, Belarus, Georgia, Armenia, Russia and other countries within Europe are means that we build upon. Our foundation is the people and their willingness to engage. Although official relationships are important, the real and sustainable changes start as a democratic process with and within people themselves.
Intensive contacts, joint work and a pluralistic exchange of opinions enable mutual learning, German-Russian understanding and lasting relationships based on principles of reciprocity. We as well as our partners undergo changes. Critique and self-criticism go hand in hand. This learning process is one of our goals and never complete.
The wars of the 20th and 21st centuries created too many distortions and divisions in the region, throwing up barriers to communication and hiding the image of other groups behind the clichés of propaganda. We work to build dialog between conflicting groups and facilitate exchange of knowledge and research on the topics of memory and history to combat inaccurate preconceptions, discuss difficult episodes in the joint past and contribute to building a sustainable, peaceful future for the region
The peaceful intervention into domestic affairs of both, the own and the other country is typical for intergovernmental relations in the civil society field. We are therefore active in all matters related to civil, political, social as well as cultural freedoms and rights, defending them at home and abroad. Independent media, a pluralistic society and democratic institutions are our universal orientation points.
Dialogue, learning, social transformation: we work towards the implementation of these goals encompassing the areas of social and environmental protection; the media; democracy and human rights; European integration and memory; conflict resolution and antidiscrimination; inter-generational dialogue and support for disadvantaged groups. Our instruments for change are: civil society cooperation and non-governmental diplomacy; nation and sector-wide networking; education and exchange projects; advice from foundations, political figures and other relevant bodies as well as the participation in public debates.
The idealistic participation and financial support of our sponsors and members is the basis of our organization. Our work is exclusively funded through donations and project-grants that guarantee our independence.