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Jul 22, 2021

EUVP Visit Story - Passang Dorji

Mr Passang Dorji

Are you considering applying for a EUVP visit? Ever wondered how EUVP programmes are organised and what their outcomes are? Follow the “EUVP visit stories”, featuring unique reports and testimonials from those who have joined us at the heart of the EU!

Mr Passang Dorji visited the EU institutions in 2017 while working as a programme coordinator for the Gross National Happiness Commission (GNHC) in Bhutan where he more specifically dealt with EU-related projects.

Bhutan’s story with Gross National Happiness (GNH) began more than four decades ago. GNH is a development approach that aims at achieving a harmonious balance between material well-being and the spiritual, emotional and cultural needs of Bhutanese society. GNHC is the Central Planning agency of the Government that identifies and recommends priorities, allocation of resources, and coordinates, monitors and evaluates policies and programs.

Mr Dorji’s goals for the EUVP visit were to find new areas of co-operation between the EU institutions and his country as well as to increase his personal knowledge on the inner workings of the EU apparatus. He was eager to learn the intricacies of EU’s development cooperation, climate and environment policies as well trade policies, especially towards developing countries.

During the EUVP study tour, Mr Dorji met with several MEPs and EU officials in the EU institutions of Brussels. He most appreciated his meetings dedicated to development cooperation between Bhutan and the EU and to the climate change. We were pleased to find out that Mr Dorji still remains in contact with interlocutors he had the pleasure to meet during his visit.

Mr Dorji was a natural fit for the EUVP programme because of the potential for continued cooperation that existed between him and the EU institutions due to his job function. This potential was realized after his visit, as Mr Dorji helped in formulating successful proposals to increase the support for two important EU-supported projects in Bhutan, further strengthening the cooperation between his country and the EU.

The first of the two projects Mr Dorji discussed during his visit was the Water Flagship Programme that aims to provide 24/7 access to clean drinking water to all rural and urban households in Bhutan. The second was the building of a National Training Centre for Search and Rescue that is going to help training search and rescue teams in the districts, municipalities, and on a national level to improve resilience and response to disasters. 

After his EUVP tour, Mr Dorji remained in close contact with the EU by facilitating the visits from the nearby EU Delegations in New Delhi and Bangkok to Bhutan. Additionally, the deeper understanding of the EU that Mr Dorji gained from his trip to the EU institutions later helped him to take up a position at the Bhutanese Ministry for Foreign Affairs as the official responsible for relations with the European Union. 

We at the EUVP would like to congratulate Mr Dorji on his achievements and are happy that he remains a close partner to the EU institutions years after his EUVP study tour. We are looking forward to the continuation of the fruitful EU–Bhutan cooperation!

Read more on the EU co-operation with Bhutan on the website of the European External Actions Service by clicking here.