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European China Policy Unit

European China Policy Unit

The European China Policy Unit (ECPU) is dedicated to advancing the understanding of China’s growing clout in foreign policy, the subsequent political changes and the resulting consequences for Europe. Sino-European trade and investment relations are at a critical juncture; issues regarding East and South Asian regional order and security are no longer the exclusive domain of Chinese foreign policy considerations, but are increasingly occupying a critical role for the member states of the EU; global multilateralism –  a core tenet of European’s outlook on international order – is gradually called into question by China; finally, realizing Europe’s key foreign policy objectives, including combating climate change and international terrorism as well as stabilizing the Middle East, have come to depend heavily upon Chinese involvement in these areas.

Source: Imaginechina

The ECPU seeks to inform European decision-makers and provide objective-oriented forums for exchange, thereby forging greater coherence in European China policy in the intermediate term, while contributing to a stronger European foreign policy. This is of paramount importance, because the number of policy areas that require improved coordination between EU institutions and member states in order to play an active role within them, is multiplying – not only in regard to China. Europe will also have to develop ever new channels to coordinate and cooperate with China. Specifically, upcoming decisions in 2016/2017 in fields such as trade and investment policy could lead to fundamental alterations in Sino-European relations.

To this end, the ECPU analyses the bilateral as well as multilateral China policies of EU member states and the European institutions, develops formats for exchange and deliberation, and creates new impulses among European partners.

Research Team


  • Stiftung Mercator