China Under the Radar: New EU’s Mechanism to Monitor Bilateral Trade Deals

Written by | Thursday, May 23rd, 2019

EU member states have agreed to implement, at the Coreper meeting of EU’s ambassadors last week, a new mechanism to control the implementation of China’s commitments to open up its economy and reform the WTO made during EU-China summit last month. The unprecedented mechanism extends the control and actively evaluates the progress on a regular basis. If successful, the EU aims to use the control mechanism also to monitor other bilateral deals, such as, for example, the commitments made at EU-Japan summit held in April.

After China has not delivered on the implementation of its past commitments, the EU member states became sceptical of Beijing’s willingness to meet European demands. Therefore, this step “will demonstrate to the Chinese partners that the EU takes the implementation of the summit seriously,” according to the notes of last week’s Coreper meeting. The EU and China are now expected to have numerous discussions regarding various topics: from foreign affairs, cyber security, bilateral investments to WTO reform. Most of the EU member states have keenly embraced the new mechanism.

This time around, China seems to be quite serious about implementing the deal agreed with the EU. “As Chinese Premier Li Keqiang said to the press during the 21st China-EU Summit, the joint statement published after the Summit is not just a document of general positions, but also one that sets clear direction for future cooperation,” the spokesperson of the Mission of China stated. The upcoming signing of the agreement on civil aviation safety is seen as a major step for China-EU practical cooperation.

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