GMF Breakfast Briefing: Toward a Joint China Policy of the EU: Central European Perspectives
- Justyna Szczudlik, Head of the Asia-Pacific Program at the Polish Institute of International Affairs (TBC)
- Ágnes Szunomár, Research Fellow, Head of Research Group on Development Economics, Institute of World Economics
- Daniel Hegedüs, Central Europe Fellow, German Marshall Fund of the United States
Relations between China and the Central European member states of the EU experienced a remarkable rise since 2012, when both sides institutionalized their cooperation in the 16+1 format, and as Beijing expanded its political influence over certain countries in the region.
Western European critics of the fast improving China-CEE relations often fear that Beijing sows division within the ranks of EU and NATO, while representatives of the Central European states emphasize that they are equally entitled to reap the same benefits of economic exchange with China as Western European countries.
Meanwhile, the political and economic positions of individual Central European countries towards China have considerably diversified over the years: some are partially disappointed by unfulfilled economic promises and increasingly aware of Beijing’s disruptive potential in areas such as technology, while others remained enthusiastic and seek further cooperation to counterbalance their countries’ dependency from intra-EU trade and investment flows.
Is a joint China policy of the EU, a key foreign policy priority of Chancellor Merkel and the 2020 German EU presidency, feasible from a Central European perspective? Where can the initiative get support from Central Europe and which countries will impede it?
This breakfast briefing aims at discussing the various experiences, changing dynamics and prospects for economic and political relations between China and Central Europe, including but not limited to trade dynamics, investment performance and expectations, the role of Chinese technology providers in the construction of 5G infrastructure, China’s geopolitical role in the region, and the desired form of a potential European China policy from the various national perspectives.
To register for the event, please contact Sophija Savtchouk at SSavtchouk@gmfus.org.