Oldenburg, 23 to 24 June 2016. At the end of June, together with the City of Oldenburg the Service Agency staged the First Round Table on Municipal Partnerships with China. Participants were able to share lessons learned, opportunities and challenges in Sino-German municipal partnership work. Participants from around 30 German municipalities attended the event, which took place in the City of Oldenburg in Lower Saxony.
The first day began with an address by the Mayor of Oldenburg, Jürgen Krogmann. He underlined the major importance of economic cooperation with the two Chinese partner municipalities Qingdao and Xi’an. The next address to welcome participants was delivered by Doreen Eismann, Project Manager for Round Tables and Regional Partnership Conferences at the Service Agency Communities in One World. After that a panel debate was held which discussed the question 'Sino-German municipal partnerships – a dialogue among equals?' Panellists stated that it was important to base partnerships on personal relationships and friendships, and to establish emotional links. They also said it was important to develop a mutual understanding and a spirit of working together as equals based on 'deep insight'. And they pointed out that it would also be a good idea if the partner municipalities were not too different, and possessed some elements linking them together.