´A Power Audit of EU-China relations´, ECFR

Dear Colleague,

We are delighted to announce the publication of ECFR's latest policy report entitled A Power Audit of EU-China Relations (pdf, 115 pgs)

Based on extensive fieldwork and interviews in all twenty-seven Member States, it is the first ever pan-European study of EU-China relations.

This report by John Fox and Francois Godement shows how the recurring divisions and inconsistencies between Member States, and a policy of "unconditional engagement", in which the EU grants China economic benefits in the hope that this will lead to democratic reform, have failed to achieve long-lasting progress on the most pressing issues on the EU agenda towards China.

Following China's forthright performance at the G20 summit, the authors of the report argue that it is essential that the EU strikes tougher bargains with Beijing and uses the levers at its disposal- otherwise it will be outmanoeuvred at next month's EU-China summit in Prague.

The authors of the report make the case that Member States and EU Institutions should move towards a realist, interest-based strategy of "reciprocal engagement" in their dealings with China and pool their resources and leverage into a common European effort. "Reciprocal engagement" is aimed at maximising the EU's leverage on China by focusing on a limited number of strategic objectives on which there is a realistic chance of success and therefore an imperative need to forge a united European front to pursue them.  

John Fox and Francois Godement call for the launch by the European Council of a broad review of the EU's China policy, and advocate the "Europeanisation" of the numerous bilateral dialogues with China.

We hope you will find the policy paper interesting and useful. Comments can be addressed to the authors directly at john.fox@ecfr.eu and francois.godement@ecfr.eu.

Link to full report: http://ecfr.eu/page/-/documents/A_Power_Audit_of_EU_China_Relations.pdf 

This report was written in close cooperation with Asia Centre at Science Po: www.centreasia.org.

European Council on Foreign Relations - www.ecfr.eu