Thursday Debate: European Council - Relations to China

Room: 07-003

Dates: 18/04, 25/04, 02/05

Time: 6.15pm

Please select your country here

Note: This will be the last block of regular debates in this semester. We will switch back to single delegations and to two debates (Monday and Thursday).

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Introduction

The European Council is the highest decision-making body of the European Union. It has the task to decide upon the guiding principles of EU politics including its external relations within the boundaries the treaties set. The European Council consists of the heads of state respectively the heads of government of all 28 member states. In addition, the President of the European Council, Donald Tusk, and the President of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker, have a seat in the European Council, yet without voting rights.

In the realm of its external relations, the relations to China are of utmost importance to the European Union. China currently is the EU’s second largest trade partner (and the EU even China’s largest). Thus, China is an important strategic trade partner of the European Union.

However, China’s increasing activism in foreign politics, especially through the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) has lately raised concerns within the EU. While several Eastern and Southern European member states already realized cooperations with China as a part of the BRI, other countries such as Germany are more cautious regarding the BRI. Moreover, Chinese enterprises have increasingly bought shares in major European companies.

Furthermore, the buildup of a new 5G-mobile network caused political tensions between the EU, the USA and China. The Trump administration publicly set European governments under pressure not to include the Chinese telecommunications company Huawei in the buildup, which it accuses of illegally transferring data of foreign mobile users to the Chinese leadership.

So far, the European Union has been unable to come up with a common position to address its future relations with China which will be necessary as China grows ever more confident on the international stage.

Research starters

As usual, do not hesitate to browse through these links to gain more information on the topic. Remember that research on the individual country’s position relies on you.

Article summarizing the currrent tensions between the EU and China (in German): https://www.watson.ch/!460440618?utm_source=whatsapp&utm_medium=social-user&utm_campaign=watson-app-android

Article on the BRI in Europe: http://fortune.com/2019/03/14/what-is-china-belt-and-road-europe/

Article on Italy joining the BRI: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/mar/20/italy-rattles-us-and-eu-with-likely-support-for-chinas-belt-and-road

Article on Greece joining the BRI: https://www.oboreurope.com/en/greece-bri/

Article on the controversy surrounding the inclusion of Huawei in the buildup of the 5G-network: https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/why-5g-phones-and-huawei-have-us-and-europe-at-odds/2019/02/24/95afbf2c-388d-11e9-b10b-f05a22e75865_story.html?noredirect=on&utm_term=.42126fdb9b28

We look forward to seeing you!

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