A delegation of the European Expression Youth visited Germany, from 12 to 16 October, 2012, after the kind invitation of the “Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom”, on its program: “Active Youth participation as one element of liberalism in Germany”. The members of EEY had the opportunity to attend the 45th federal convention of the Junge Liberale (JULIs) in Halle (Saxony-Anhalt) and to meet with liberal politicians and representatives of political life in Berlin.
The Young Liberals after an open and fruitful dialogue in Halle, passed their main resolution that suggested policies to reduce the German debt, following the organizer’s moto: “Germany without debt. Free!”. Among those who addressed a speech was the EEY President Mr. Athanasios Grammenos who “rocked” the convention. Mr. Grammenos noticed that although there is some political tension between a certain group of people in both countries, and despite the fact that several mistakes were made in the past, Greece still has several assets and it could become again a healthy society, free of the patronizing state, where individual prosperity could be the basis for social solidarity.
Referring to the audience as “brothers in Europe” was loudly applauded several times as among other he stated:
“We are not here to apologize, to prove that we are not lazy, starving or not from poverty, neither we came to defend the statue of Aphrodite that so disrespectfully has been distorted by a local edition […]
We came, because you and we are tied like brothers in the Europe of people, the Europe of ideas, the Europe of freedom. Looking to the emerging new word, If our future is not common, it is not future at all. I know it won’t be easy since it will take to overcome stereotypes, traditional practices and narrow national limitations. We, the new generation of Europe, released from phobias and restrictions, can actually change the fate of our continent and that of the whole world […]
We can bring a new era, we can show to each other more support, we can be more productive and we can give to our Union, from Portugal to Cyprus and from Malta to Sweden, a new thinking in regards to current and future policy challenges”.
The days after the convention, the EEY delegation travelled to Berlin and visited the German Parliament (tour of the Reichstag building with Fabian Lieschke, Foreign Policy Associate to MdB Marina Schuster), had a coffee discussion with MdB Florian Toncar, and a networking lunch with Arnold Dunai (Policy Advisor for Dr Erwin Lotter MdB, Vice Chairman of the German-Greek Parliamentary Group), Andy Furste (Head of Office of Ms Gabrielle Molitor MdB, Deputy Chairwoman of the Committee on European Affairs), Johanna Hasting (Desk Officer for European Affairs, FNF).
It also visited the FDP headquarters for a policy discussion with Andreas Pauker (International dialogue and campaign officer), the “Junge Liberale” headquarters for a meeting with Nicolas Hellmuth (Federal Managing Director) and last had a dinner discussion with the Board of the Federal Association of Liberal Student Groups (LHG).
In all sessions, the Greek delegation had the opportunity to come across with several aspects of the German political life and also to help the fellows in Germany understand better the situation in Greece, commenting historical evidence, to show that there is a new generation that supports and promotes liberal change, and moreover that between the two people not only there should be no tension but also they have to stand united in the next day for Europe.
The European Expression Youth wants to thank the Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom and especially Mr. Markus Kaiser, (Policy advisor/Program Manager “European integration”) for the invitation and his excellent organization of the trip.
The EEY delegation was composed of: Athanasios Grammenos (President), Rania Papastavropoulou (Deputy President), Vicky Missira (Treasurer), Eirini Drakou (Member), Theoni Drimala (Member), Giorgos Pantelias (EE magazine editor).