Visit to ECFA by Mr. Thomas Volk, Regional Program Director at KONRAD ADENAUER STIFTUNG
On June 18, 2023, Dr. Thomas Volk, Director of the Regional Program at the German KONRAD ADENAUER STIFTUNG Foundation, visited ECFA, where he was received by Ambassador Mohamed El-Oraby, Chairman of the Board of Directors, and Ambassador Ezzat Saad, ECFA Director.
Mr. Volk stated that he is in the process of completing the necessary legal procedures to reopen the Foundation’s office in Cairo, indicating that he is in contact with the Deputy Assistant Foreign Minister for Non-Governmental Organizations, and the Consular Department at the Foreign Ministry, to complete these procedures.
He added that they are interested in dealing with the Egyptian Council for Foreign Affairs as being a civil non-governmental organization, and that he heard a lot from the foreign diplomatic community, especially the German ambassador in Cairo, about ECFA’s diversified activities, noting that the issues that will be the focus of their support are those related to geopolitics and relations with the European Union and its member states, especially Germany, as well as energy issues and cultural exchanges.
Accordingly, the guest pointed out that, unlike the German Friedrich Ebert Foundation, issues of human rights and fundamental freedoms do not fall within their scope. He added that, by virtue of the Foundation’s affiliation with the Christian Democratic Party, they report their activities to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and they also request a prior plan and list of speakers in the activities they support to submit them to the Ministry.
ECFA’s representatives explained to the German guest that ECFA had never received any support from any foreign institution, whether European or other, as ECFA is keen on its independence as a think-tank. However, cooperation with the Konrad Adenauer Foundation can be discussed on a case-by-case basis, without prejudice to ECFA’s independence and its absolute right to adopt an agenda that serves Egypt’s interests and foreign policy-related issues.
The guest also indicated that he expects to complete the procedures for establishing the Foundation’s branch and begin its activity in Egypt next October, noting that His Excellency the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Sameh Shoukry, promised to attend the opening ceremony.
Upon his request, the guest received a number of the ECFA publications, including its annual report for the past five years, and a summary of each of them in English, as well as various other publications that reflect ECFA’s activities.