Dr. Thomas Kunze about activities of the Konrad Adenauer Foundation in the Russian Federation
Our Foundation named after the first Chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany, Konrad Adenauer, is the largest political foundation in Germany and like-minded to the ruling Christian Democratic Party. Political foundations were created in the hope that they would contribute to the stabilization of young democracy in FRG. Foundations are an expression of political pluralism in Germany, building on the values of political parties close to them. Later, the German foundations have established international representations in order to strengthen the relations of Germany and the German people with other countries. Today, branches of the Konrad Adenauer Foundation are located in more than 120 countries around the world.

In Russia, the Representative Office of the Konrad Adenauer Foundation has been working in Russia for 30 years contributing to a productive dialogue between Russia and Germany in many areas. The Foundation cooperates with numerous Russian partners. These include the Supreme Courts of the Russian Federation, political parties, relevant ministries, universities, scientific institutions, and Russian Orthodox Church in the spirit of dialogue between Christian confessions as well as institutions of civil society. Together with our partners, we organize conferences, expert meetings and round tables aimed at discussing issues of mutual interest.
The Konrad Adenauer Foundation actively supports efforts to build a dialogue in the field of digitalization, IT projects and artificial intelligence. Within the framework of the Russian-German Year "Economy and Sustainable Development" 2021–2022 the Foundation, together with the University of the National Technology Initiative 2035, will hold a series of events on various aspects of the digital economy. In addition, it is planned to launch the German-Russian Business Accelerator of IT Projects educational program. The program will help increase the number of high-quality digital professionals. I think that thanks to these and other projects, we will be able to contribute to long-term and mutually beneficial cooperation between our countries.
Dr. Thomas Kunze
Head of the Representative Office of the Foundation Konrad Adenauer and Commissioner for the Russian Federation
Among the numerous topics on international cooperation that our Foundation raises, a special place is occupied by German-Russian cooperation on digitalization issues. In a period of tectonic changes and an accelerated rate of scientific and technological progress, the positions of countries in the international arena will largely be determined by how timely the states develop digital technologies. In the next decades, artificial intelligence will increasingly be introduced into all spheres of public life – from medicine to mechanical engineering.

Germany and Russia have the necessary prerequisites to take their rightful place in the digital world. At the same time, it is important to combine the potential of both countries. In 2017, at the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum, the German-Russian initiative for the digitalization of the economy was created, designed to intensify the dialogue between Russia and Germany in the field of Industry 4.0. Large Russian and German companies have already joined the initiative. Projects within the framework of the initiative, which are also carried out with the support of the Konrad Adenauer Foundation, also have political significance. Today, it is extremely important for our countries to find new channels for cooperation and friendship, and the digitalization sphere is precisely the area where fruitful and mutually beneficial cooperation is possible and necessary.
Dr. Thomas Kunze, Head of the Representative Office of the Foundation. Konrad Adenauer and Commissioner for the Russian Federation. Dr. Kunze has been a part of the Konrad Adenauer Foundation Since 2002: regional representative for Central Asia based in Tashkent (2002–2005 and 2010–2019), head of the Europe / North America department at the Foundation's headquarters in Berlin (2007–2010) and head of the Representative Office in Moscow as well as country representative for the Russian Federation (2005–2007 and since 2019).