European China policies in times of political fragmentation

April 25 to 28, 2017

For the third time in 2017, the MERICS European China Talent Program gathered a group of young professionals for a three-day seminar in Berlin from April 25 to 28. The 15 participants from 11 European countries and various professional backgrounds were united by their common interest and experience in China. The program was organized by Bertram Lang, MERICS research associate and coordinator of the European China Talent Program.

Participants had the opportunity to discuss European China policy with experts and decision makers from politics, business and civil society. In four working groups, they presented their own policy proposals on the following topics at the end of the Seminar:

  • “A new partnership for sustainable development: Revising EU-China cooperation on energy and Environment”
  • “More for more: Mutual legal assistance as a new dimension for EU-China Policy”
  • “The EU’s role in the AIIB: Taming China’s influence from within”
  • “Mapping Chinese investments in Europe: Knowledge is power”

The program included several background sessions with China experts:

Business Session: China as a stability anchor for European businesses? With: Friedolin Strack (Head of Department International Markets at the Federation of German Industries, BDI); Ferdinand Schaff (Senior Advisor Greater China at the Asia-Pacific Committee of German Business).

Society Session: Dealing with China’s new security regulations in people-to-people exchanges. With: Isabel Hilton (CEO of China Dialogue), Andreas Fulda (Assistant Professor, University of Nottingham), Jessica Batke (Senior Editor at ChinaFile).

Diplomacy Session: Defining and promoting EU interests vis-à-vis China in times of political fragmentation? With: Diplomats from East Asia department and policy planning staff of Germany’s Federal Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

On Thursday evening, participants attended a panel discussion on “Europe-China Civil Society Cooperation: In Search of Ways Forward”. This event was hosted by Young China Watchers, an international network of young China experts. Isabel Hilton, Andreas Fulda and Bertram Lang discussed the state of civil society cooperation with China under the new NGO law as well as ideas for future European engagement with China through citizens’ diplomacy or multilateral media Projects.

Program output

Egmont Security Policy Brief by ECTP participants from the global governance cluster: Balazs Ujvari (24 May 2017), “The EU in the AIIB: taming China’s influence from within”, Egmont Policy Brief No. 84, May 2017.

Blogpost: "How Europe can use the AIIB to influence China" by Fleur Huijskens, Richard Tucsanyi and Balazs Ujvari, August 10, 2017.

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