FNF Greece: Involving the youth in the political process

DSC_0201As the elections for regions and municipalities in Greece on 18 & 25 May are approaching rapidly, the Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom (FNF) invited young citizens from across the country to participate in a three day seminar about the strategic planning of an election campaign. The seminar’s goal was to train liberal-minded candidates on how to organize their campaigns the best way possible, how to bring across their message efficiently, and thus how to maximize the political impact of their candidateship.

“A sound strategic plan is the best prerequisite to be successful and achieve the goals set for oneself”, Peter Schroeder, a longtime political advisor who conducted the workshop, explained. “In our workshop we focused on basic strategic issues such as agenda setting, planning factors, the voters’ behavior, and how to best use the resources available.”

The participants were independent, liberal-minded candidates for the municipal and regional elections, all between 25 and 35 years old, who decided to run for office for the first time. In addition to the above mentioned topics, the role of the local press, how to compose press releases and how to enter a political debate were subjects which the participants dealt with with great intensity.

DSC_0227aOn Sunday, Gregory Vallianatos, Candidate-Mayor for the City of Athens, paid a visit to the seminar and discussed his vision for the upcoming elections. The visit provided the opportunity for all participants to further gain knowledge and information from a long-time politician. At the same time, every candidate was able to adapt his newly learnt theories to actual politics.

“The workshop was a valuable help from FNF in my effort to be elected”, Giorgos-Marinos Papanikolaou, a young candidate from the City of Moschato, concluded afterwards. “Without the FNF, it would be impossible for a young candidate like me to be coached by such a good and experienced professional. I sincerely hope that the elections in May will reward our common effort and provide Greece with as many liberal and reformist councilors as possible.”

Olga Vlachou, a young lady who will run for office in the City of Alimos, added: “I had doubts about running in the upcoming local elections, but now I am much more confident on how I should build and run my campaign!”

Athanasios Grammenos & Markus Kaiser
Pictures: FNF-Europe