On March 19, the Transatlantic Dialogue Center welcomed representatives of the largest political youth organizations in Germany to Kyiv: Junge Liberale (Young Liberals, youth wing of the Free Democratic Party) and Junge Union (Young Union, youth wing of the Christian Democratic Union/Christian Social Union). They came to Ukraine for a three-day visit to witness the situation amid the Russian full-scale invasion firsthand, show solidarity with the people of Ukraine, and talk to Ukrainians about their struggle for the freedom of Ukraine and Europe. The delegation was headed by the chairpersons of the youth organizations: Franziska Brandmann (Junge Liberale) and Johannes Winkel (Junge Union). Among the participants were German parliament member Maximilian Mörseburg, Junge Liberale deputy chairman Nemir Ali, and journalist Mariam Lau.
With the assistance of the local offices of the Konrad Adenauer Foundation and the Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom, the Transatlantic Dialogue Center organized meetings with representatives of Ukrainian youth organizations, civil society actors, politicians, and state officials.
The German guests learned more about Ukraine’s foreign policy priorities during meetings with the German Ambassador to Ukraine and Ukrainian MPs Halyna Yanchenko and Inna Sovsun.
The delegation met Joerg Drescher, the head of the Kyiv Office of the German-Ukrainian Forum, who discussed the work of his organization, his experience during the Revolution of Dignity and Russia’s full-scale invasion, and what German political youth organizations can do to support Ukraine now.
At the office of the Serhiy Prytula Foundation, the German youth gained insight into the work of Ukrainian charity funds and talked to its founder Serhiy Prytula, who conveyed the message that Ukraine needs more military and humanitarian support.
The members of the delegation had an opportunity to meet representatives of the Ukrainian Armed Forces at different levels. They talked to a German soldier, currently serving in the Ukrainian International Legion. He shared his experiences of service, his assessment of the current situation on the frontline, and his opinion on the most crucial needs of the Ukrainian army. Additionally, Junge Liberale and Junge Union visited the Veteran Hub and met the team that supports the defenders of Ukraine and their families on a day-to-day basis.
To showcase a different perspective, the TDC also hosted a meeting between the German guests and a representative of the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, where the members of the German political youth organizations gained insight into the strategic dimension of the Russian-Ukrainian war.
As part of the program, the German guests talked to the representatives of Ukrainian youth organizations, namely Solidarna Molod, ZeMolodizhka, Public Diplomacy Platform, European Youth of Ukraine, and Liberal Democratic League of Ukraine, as well as visited Ukraine’s renowned educational centers Smart Osvita and the NaUKMA School for Policy Analysis.
Besides meetings, the delegation visited an exhibition on the Russo-Ukrainian war and took a trip to Bucha, Irpin, and Borodianka to witness the aftermath of the Russian invasion firsthand.
With their joint visit to Kyiv, the competing German youth organizations showed that the commitment to support Ukraine rises above the political differences of German parties. The solidarity with Ukraine is a principle that gained bipartisan support in Germany and is key to strengthening German-Ukrainian relations and cooperation.