At the heart of the ecbi is an Oxford-based Fellowship Programme for climate negotiators and other stakeholders directly involved in the UNFCCC process from the participating developing countries. Its primary purpose is to build trust and exchange procedural and institutional knowledge both among the Fellows ('South-South trust-building'), and between them and their European colleagues ('North-South trust-building').
South-South relations and trust building are often of at least equal importance in supporting the international negotiations. The trust building activities are carried out during the Fellowship Colloquium in Oxford, where the Fellows have the chance to exchange views and experiences among themselves in 'closed session'. In light of their considerable existing negotiating capacities, the participating large developing countries are primarily involved in the trust-building activities of the Oxford Fellowship Programme.
The Seminar enables the Fellows to find out how climate change issues are managed by European governments, and provide an opportunity to exchange views in an informal and non- confrontational setting. They also enable the European partners to discover and better understand the situation of their developing country colleagues - one of the reasons why the ecbi is not just a capacity-building initiative by Europeans, but also for Europeans. The Seminar is an annual, 3 day event hosted on academic grounds of Oxford and it usually takes place in the first week of September. Participation in the event is exclusive.
To maintain the momentum of these trust-building activities, the Fellowship Programme also organises an annual one-day Bonn Seminar during the intersessional Subsidiary Bodies meetings in Bonn/Germany.