EU-China – A strategic outlook

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Series Details JOIN (2019) 5
Publication Date 12/03/2019
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Joint Communication presented on 12 March 2019 by the European Commission and the High Representative for Foreign Affairs, reviewing the relationship between the European Union and China, as well as related opportunities and challenges.

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This Communication aims to launch a debate on the bilateral relations between China and the European Union, amidst an understanding that a shift occurred in the balance between opportunities and challenges in those relations. The document sets out a set of ten actions, subject to discussion and endorsement by the European Council. It was also subject to an exchange of views by the Council of the European Union on 18 March.

The European Commission argues for three key aims when reviewing the relations between the EU and China:

  • Deepening of the EU's engagement with China, based on clearly defined interests and principles;
  • Seeking more balanced and reciprocal conditions governing the economic relationship;
  • Adapting internally to changing economic realities by strengthening own domestic policies and industrial base.
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Commentary and Analysis
EurActiv, 14/03/2019: Time to rebalance EU-China relations and demand unfettered access to Tibet
Institut Jacques Delors: Blog, 08/04/2019: Meeting the challenges of EU-China relations
The Conversation, 09/05/2019: China is now a power in Europe, but fears of interference in the EU are simplistic and misguided

RTÉ News, 12/03/2019: European Commission sets out a plan to balance economic ties with China
Reuters, 12/03/2019: EU sets out 10-point plan to balance China economic ties
Politico, 12/03/2019: EU slams China as ‘systemic rival’ as trade tension rises
EUObserver, 13/03/2019: Europe shifts gear to balance relations with China better
Politico, 18/03/2019: EU accelerates moves to block China’s market access
EurActiv, 19/03/2019: Member states support tougher stance toward China despite warnings

European Commission: EU-China strategic outlook: Commission contribution to the European Council, 21-22 March 2019
European Commission: Press Release, 12/03/2019: Commission reviews relations with China, proposes 10 actions
European Commission: Speech, 12/03/2019: Vice-President Katainen: Remarks on EU-China - a strategic outlook

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