The EU-China NGO Twinning program is an exchange program for the staff of European and Chinese NGOs. It aims at establishing sustainable partnerships and cooperation between non-governmental or non-profit organizations and think tanks from both regions.
“Twinning” Exchange – building partnerships through personal encounter
In the context of the EU-China NGO Twinning program, 14 European and Chinese NGOs working on similar thematic focuses will be paired up as “twinning-partners”. Each year, 7 exchange fellows working for European NGOs and 7 fellows from Chinese NGOs are given the opportunity to work and study for 4-8 weeks in their partner organization in the respective other region.
The program foresees that each twinning-partnership designs a joint project for concrete collaboration. The personal encounter of the NGO staff will lay the basis for future joint projects and stable partnerships between the two twinning partner organizations.
Mutual understanding, capacity building and long-term cooperation
China is becoming more and more important for working areas of European NGOs, but they often lack access to information and know-how on engagement in the Chinese society. The mutual exchange of staff will enable the missing information on Chinese developments to channel directly into important multiplier organizations in Europe.
At the same time, Chinese NGOs will get important insights into the working methods of European NGOs. This professionalization and internationalization will enable more Chinese NGOs and grassroot activists to participate in international debates and to develop a joint vision for a better future.
Mutual exchange, joint work on a common topic and experiencing working and civil society conditions in the respective other region will help to facilitate long-term cooperation between the twinning partner organizations.
Why Europe and China?
The political, economic and cultural relations between Europe and China have been growing over the last years, as has the impact of European-Chinese relations on global social and ecological developments.
In this process, civil society is still playing a minor role. And there is still too little cooperation between organizations from both regions – although they are working on similar topics and face common global concerns – from climate change and environmental protection to sustainable production, food safety and social justice.
The future of our planet will significantly depend on how the relations between Europe and China are carved out. And these issues are too important to be left solely in the hands of politicians and tycoons.