CrossCulture Programme: Eastern Partnership and Russia
In 2009, Germany and its European partners together with the neighbouring states Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Republic of Moldova and Ukraine initiated the Eastern Partnership. This initiative aims at the extension and development of political, economic and social relationships among the countries involved. With its well established CrossCulture Programme, the ifa (Institut für Auslandsbeziehungen) as a partner of the Federal Foreign Office has supported sociopolitical collaboration and networking between Germany and the six countries of the Eastern Partnership since 2015. Since 2016 onwards the programme is further extended and promotes the collaboration with the civil society in Russia.
Aims of the funding programme
The programme offers young professionals and volunteering individuals from Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Republic of Moldova, Ukraine, Russia and Germany the opportunity to gain professional experience abroad and to act as multipliers in their home countries. In addition to further professional development and specialist training, the programme participants also gain an insight into the social and political structures of the host country. They make important contacts which they can use when they return to their home country for future collaboration. Interns returning home can offer a valuable contribution to their respective organisations thanks to the international experience they have gained. This exchange thus sustainably strengthens the formation of networks between Germany and the partner countries and encourages cross-border dialogue and cooperation.
Areas of emphasis and target groups
Internships within the CrossCulture Programme for the countries of the Eastern Partnership and Russia are offered in the following work areas:
- human rights, migration & refugees
- political education & youth participation
- knowledge society, intercultural dialogue, mediation & reconciliation
The target groups are young professionals and volunteers from various areas of civil society and multipliers in organisations and media.
Organisation of the programme
The internship will last eight weeks and will be supplemented by a tailor-made framework programme – for example, accompanying events or individual visits– during the stay in the host country. The internships are characterised by the fact that they can be individually adapted to the requirements and wishes of the scholarship holders both in terms of content and organisation. Thanks to this personalised and needs-oriented concept, they are very well-suited in supporting the participants to acquire professional and sociopolitical competence in their specific area of work. In the end, these competences strengthen the participants in developing an integrative, democratic and pluralistic society in their home countries.