MERICS European China Talent Program 2021
2021 Special Edition for Young Professional Women
In a turbulent year for EU-China relations, MERICS gathered the seventh cohort of young experts and professionals to discuss the most relevant topics in the field. This year's select group of 18 young female China experts explored concrete policies for improving European policy towards China under the theme “Fostering new momentum for European China policy”. In 2021, MERICS chose to shine a light on the many excellent young female talents in the European China research community and contribute to gender diversity and inclusion. Due to the challenges of the Covid-19 pandemic, for the second year running we held the event in-person and online, where female participants engaged with China experts from various fields and worked in teams to formulate and present policy proposals.
In four working groups, participants developed targeted policy advice for European stakeholders to change their approach or respond to Beijing’s actions in the fields “Connectivity”, “Innovation Governance” and “Environmental and Climate Diplomacy”. Participants also discussed what the EU should do in the field of “Security Policy” to minimize risks emanating from China. They proposed innovative ideas on how the EU can promote its newly launched connectivity strategy, Global Gateway, in the Western Balkans, how European actors can make their climate diplomacy towards China more effective, and how to set up a values-based mutual learning platform as a European soft power tool.
The working groups exchanged views with experts from MERICS and other renowned institutions, e.g. on the meaning of Chinese key concepts in international relations or strategies for European companies facing complex economic dynamics and challenges in EU-China relations. In an informal evening discussion on the topic "Women in China Policy”, participants had the chance to discuss with established female China experts the challenges and opportunities that women specifically face in developing their China-related careers.
The seventh cohort of the MERICS European China Talent Program encompassed young female experts from more than 10 nationalities working in EU institutions, academia, think tanks, international organizations, public policy consulting and business. They join a professional alumni network that by the end of 2021 will count about 120 Europeans working on China from Europe, the US, Asia and the Pacific.
In May 2022, the call for applications for the next edition of the ECTP will again be open to all genders.