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Join students, academics, NGOs, and environmental activists in June 2022 to discuss the future of the Green wave in Eastern Europe!

About the event

We are pleased to announce the Conference on the Future of Eastern Europe organized on 6-7 June in Riga, Latvia. The conference will be organised by GEF with the support of Cooperation Development Networks Eastern Europe (CDNEE), Green Thought Association (Turkey), Sustainable Development Forum Green Window (Croatia), Green Institute (Greece) and Ecopolis Foundation (Hungary). The Conference aims to unite the voices of young green activists from Eastern Europe to talk about the future of the region, and the challenges and opportunities for an ecological and progressive turnaround.


This is the first event as part of our 2022 Transnational Project The Future of Eastern Europe and Ecodemocracy. Democracy in Eastern Europe is hanging by a thread. Authoritarianism is growing and nationalist narratives are reopening old conflicts. The Pandemic has exposed governments’ inefficiencies to react to any sort of crisis and contributed to heighten polarisation in an already polarised society. On the other side, hope is on the horizon as progressive movements are taking over power at the local level, as well as at the rapidly growing mobilisation of public around environmental issues. How could we leverage these small steps and use them to strengthen the Green movement in the region?


DAY 1 – (6th June) Monday

10:00-10:15 Opening of the conference (Live Stream)

10:15-12:00 Eastern Europe as a region – a story of turbulent transformation (Live Stream)
Description:  For more than thirty years Eastern Europe is a region of independent nation-states. During this period there was the promise that after a long struggle democracy and well-being would be achieved. Looking at it today, it is clear that most Eastern European countries are far from democracy and the well-being of citizens.
In this session, we will try to analyse and reflect on the last decades of Eastern Europe, mainly focusing to find the roots of current problems and possible solutions by looking back at the recent history – what shaped the region, how the democratisation and transition took place.

Sonja Schiffers, Director of Heinrich-Boell Foundation, South Caucasus Office
Anastasiya Dorofeeva, Belarusian Green party, Belarusian anti-nuclear campaign, hub “Green foundations”

Moderator: Luka Gudek, Green European Foundation

12:00-13:30 Influence of Global Powers: Eastern Europe at the crossroads between democracy and autocracy (Live Stream)
Description: Discussing political dynamics and transformation of Eastern Europe cannot take place without paying attention to global powers and their involvement in the region. 
With this session we aim to map global powers: EU – China, Russia and US – and their interests; What role do they play in supporting democracy and progressive agenda or the opposite – encouraging and financing anti-democratic, right-wing and authoritarian forces. 

Anton Cherepenko, the Free Hong Kong Center in Kyiv
Zarina Burkadze,  Associate Proffessor of Political Science, Ilia State University 
Raluca Besliu, Fundraising Manager, Green European Foundation and contributor of the Green European Journal focusing on Eastern European affairs
Teo Comet, TILT Coordinator at European Greens, Board Member at Green European Foundation 

Moderator: Giorgi Ptskialadze, Network Coordinator of CDN

15:30-17:00 War in Ukraine: Context, Present and the Effect on the region (Live Stream) 
DescriptionRussian aggression against Ukraine is continuing. Every day we are witnessing atrocities, war crimes and violations of international law from the Russian side, at the same time Ukraine is bravely defending its people, sovereignty, democracy and even Europe as a whole.
In this session, we will take a look at a few different aspects of the conflict: the context of the war, the historical roots of Russian aggression, the current events, as well as what greens should do to help Ukraine, and how the ongoing war affects countries in the region.

Facilitator: Katya Andrieieva, Executive Committee Member of CDN

17:30-19:00 Energy – a veto point and/or a chance for democracy? (Live Stream)
DescriptionThe energy we choose reflects the systems we support. In this session, we will discuss energy as the core factor for sustaining authoritarian regimes and the way the energy sector influences political dynamics. As well as we are going to focus on the possibility of democratisation through energy – decentralisation, renewables and the prospect of energy cooperatives in Eastern Europe


Manana Kochladze, Bankwatch Strategic Area Leader – Democratization and Human Rights

Yevheniia ZasiadkoHead of climate and transport department at Ecoaction – Centre for Environmental Initiatives

Workshop: Sandy-Kyriaki Fameliari, ElectaEnergy Cooperative

Moderator: Lusine Kosakyn, Executive Committee Member of CDN

DAY 2 – (7th June) Tuesday

10:00-11:30 Eco-Democracy as a new paradigm for Eastern Europe
DescriptionThe Workshop aims to add a philosophical, ethical and institutional dimension to the conversations on the Future of Eastern Europe happening at the Conference. It hopes to bring together the different voices and ideas from the wealth of participants and facilitate a meaningful discussion on how to put Ecology at the Centre of Democracy.

How can we make democracy more ecological? What kind of changes do we need to apply to our thinking about participation, institutions and decision-making to put ecology and the environment at the forefront of our political systems?

These are some of the questions that we’ll be asking and trying to answer at our Ecodemocracy Workshop!                              

Facilitators: Anna Maniadi and Dimitris Papageorgiou, Green Institute Greece            

12:00-13:30  Conflicts in Eastern Europe: the theory and beyond
The session aims to provide participants with the basis of conflict theory and conflict resolution and analyze the conflicts in EE through case studies.  The session encompasses theoretical and practical parts that will be conducted through non-formal education methods. The objectives of the session are 1)to understand the concept of conflict (origin, causes, consequences), 2) to discuss the mechanisms of handling conflict, particularly, conflict resolution, and 3) to explore the conflicts that happened in EE in recent years, their consequences and current state.

15:30-17:00 Open Mic

17:30-19:30 Movements into politics: Green Wave in Eastern Europe (Live Stream)

Description: For the last decades, if you checked the electoral map of Europe intending to see how Green parties have been performing, you would see a clear pattern: Greens in the west and north do well – they get elected in national and regional parliaments, city councils, win mayorships and even participate in governing coalitions; while in the east – you would see a grey colour representing either absence of Green parties from the political landscape or lack of support and therefore relevance. However, in recent years the pattern is dissolving and becoming a blur, the Green wave spreading to the East.

During the panel, we will discuss the ongoing Green wave with newly established Green political parties across Eastern Europe with the aim to analyse current success, find the patterns and similarities, understand the importance of grassroots movements and civil society, map challenges, envision the future and their influence on the political landscape.
Justine Pantelejeva, Progresīvie, Latvia
Predrag Momčilović, Ne davimo Beograd, Serbia
Sopo Shubitidze, Mtsvaneebi, Georgia
Mozemo Croatia TBC
Stefan Vukmanovic, Ura Montenegro
Vesna TBC
Koray Doğan Urbarlı, Green Party Turkey


Date: 6-7th June

Time Zone: Eastern European Summer Time (EEST) / Coordinated Universal
Time (UTC) + 3

Location: Rija VEF Hotel, Brīvības 199c, Riga, Latvija, LV-1039 

Format: Hybrid format (some sessions will be Livestreamed)

Language: The main language of this activity will be English. But not being comfortable with interacting in English should not prevent you from applying. GEF & CDN strives to create an inclusive atmosphere at the events, where participants are encouraged to express themselves and ask for clarifications or translations from peers that speak the same language.

Costs: Anyone is welcome to take part in the conference with their own expenses. There is no participation fee.

In addition, CDN can cover the participation of a limited number of applications of young greens and activists from Eastern Europe (with a maximum age of 30). Meaning the cost of travel, and lodging (accommodation in multi-bed rooms, vegetarian/vegan food and refreshments).

In any case, take into consideration choosing the most economic and environmentally friendly means of travel (lowest price + travel time + CO2 emissions) and in case the trip would take less than 15 hours only travelling by land (train+bus) is reimbursed (IRPs §9.1).

Deadline: 20th of May (if applying for CDN to cover your participation.)

You will be informed by e-mail approximately 1 week after the deadline. Please add office@cdnee.org to your contacts, so that you do not receive our reply in the spam folder.

If you have any questions, do not hesitate to write us at office@cdnee.org

Registration: Registrations are now open! 

Additional Reading

Bulgaria’s Greens: From Street Protests to Government

How Green Independents Broke Through in North Macedonia

Extraction and Energy Transition in Serbia

Can Protests Steer Serbia Back Towards Democracy?

The War in Ukraine is Part of the Soviet Empire’s Unravelling

The Unfinished Business of Building Bosnia-Herzegovina

The Romanian Protest Wave: A Path to a New Political Era?
Belarus’s Struggle for Democracy

This event is organised by the Green European Foundation with the support of CDNEE and with the financial support of the European Parliament to the Green European Foundation. The European Parliament is not responsible for the content of this event

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