The Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung office in Kosovo, organized a study visit from 09 - 14 July, 2018 for the alumni of the Political Academy in Düsseldorf, Germany. This was the sixth group study visit organized for the alumni of the PA. Through this activity we tried to get political education in practice by tackling and discussing most relevant topics from regional and international spectrum.
We started our journey on Tuesday by visiting Friedrich–Ebert–Stiftung Headquarter, Bonn. We met Dr. Martin Pfafferott with whom we discussed about the work and engagement of FES Foundation within different topics in Northern Rhine Westphalia and broader. Despite the other interesting topics, the group had the possibility to focus discussion on the youth engagement and the role of FES toward this issue. Afterward, we visited Haus der Geschichte, German National Museum, where the delegation got to know closely the political, social and cultural side of German history through historical exponents, individual/collective ideas, events and historical developments until nowadays. Further, on Wednesday we had a meeting and discussion with local NGO NABU NRW & NABU Stadtverband - Ilona Steffe from the field of environment.
To discuss about the positions of the youth, education and labor market policies on a political level we met Josef Neumann, Member of the Landtag NRW with whom we talked about the challenges of the youth in Germany and abroad, cooperation and policies regarding the youth from Kosovo interested to study and work in Germany. Furthermore, the group was interested to know the international politics on a regional level, to see the position of social democrats regarding the new challenges in Germany and Europe such as, immigration, growing right-wing populism, nationalism and the approaches how to tackle these challenges from the social democratic point of view. After this fruitful and constructive discussion, we were invited to join shortly a parliamentary debate inside Landtag NRW.
Afterwards, we had a critical city walk in Düsseldorf, conducted by Kölle Global where we were shown examples of food processing, food waste, plastic, banks etc.
Continuing on Thursday, our agenda was focused on the field of Labor Rights and Education & Youth Commitment, where we had a session debate with Eric Schley, Youth Secretary of DGB Jugend, German Trade Union Confederation. We got to know the function of DGB specifically of youth organization, structure, challenges and engagement with youngsters in NRW and abroad. We were shown with examples of work and activities that are being implemented such as digitization inside the trade unions to make the work environment more attractive and compatible with requirements of labor market.
Another interesting meeting was with Young Socialist NRW. Where we exchanged our experiences as youth from two countries and shared our opinions for social democracy and its values. We were informed about their role and field of operation, organization of the “JuSos”, structure, cooperation with SDP and most challenging key topics issues that they are facing on Northern Rhine Westphalia as youth student & activists.
On the last day, Friday, we were hosted by the Municipality of Düsseldorf –Landtag to discuss about Politics on a local level with the Mayor-Thomas Geisel, SPD, Oberbürgermeister Düsseldorf. To deepen the debate, we realized another meeting with Miriam Koch, Director of the Office for Migration and Integration, Stadt Düsseldorf. We talked, in particular on immigration and integration in Düsseldorf. The respond toward immigration wave that Germany have had last 3 years and specifically the welcome respond that was given by the institution of NRW by hosting them, making shelters, building specific spaces to host and accommodate the immigrants. There has been done a lot of work on the integration of immigrants, by trying to teach them the language, putting in schools and giving them financial support and health care until the final resolution of their situation.