Report from 1 June and China Meeting

The European Commission is currently preparing a new communication to the Council on “a strategy for EU trade and economic relations with China”. In preparation it is conducting a survey on public opinion regarding relations with China.

The following meeting on China is scheduled for 7.7.06, and SERI member Thomas Ruddy is planning to attend.

Eivind Hoff fromWWF EPO Brussels presented their answers to the survey, and called for a Sustainability Opportunities Assessment (other papers of theirs). Thomas Ruddy from SERI endorsed WWF's answers, asking for clarification of DG Trade's role in investment issues. The resource efficiency of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) is said to be high on the Chinese agenda. He also asked whether a Commission-wide Impact Assessment (IA) would be required for new China negotiations. Rupert Schlegelmilch from DG Trade replied that there was an old agreement from 1985, but that any new regional agreement would naturally be subject to the Commission-wide IA process.

Ruddy also raised questions of energy security, freedom of expression, about which later the European Broadcasting Union also spoke, and a new official Chinese policy on the circular economy. The two Chinese institutions involved are the National Development and Reform Commission (NRDC) and the Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM).

DG Trade is collaborating with colleagues from External Relations (DG RelEx), which offers an overview (works best with MS IE) and is preparing a paper on China. A research group with the Chinese may be set up.

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