The High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and the European Commission today adopted a Joint Communication that maps out the European Union’s relationship with China for the next five years. Federica Mogherini, the High Representative/Vice-President, said: “The European Union and China already cooperate on so much: we work together on the global and political issues of our times, such as Iran, Syria, Afghanistan, migration and climate change. But we can and must do more to connect the European Union and China. Our citizens, industries, and organisations can all benefit from a closer, improved, and better-defined EU-China relationship based on shared responsibility.
The Joint Communication that we have adopted today will, I am sure, enable our relationship to fulfil its clear potential.” The Joint Communication identifies major opportunities for the EU’s relationship with China, in particular with the aim of creating jobs and growth in Europe as well as vigorously promoting a greater opening up of the Chinese market to European business, thus contributing to the first priority of President Juncker‘s Commission. The Joint Communication also highlights opportunities for closer cooperation and partnership between the EU and China in the fields of foreign and security policy.
Building on the positive experience of the Iran nuclear talks, the European Union and China should work more closely together in order to resolve international conflicts and foreign policy priorities both bilaterally and in multilateral contexts such as the UN system and in the G20. Issues of a global nature like migration, international development assistance, the environment and fighting climate change can only be resolved through a global response, and for this reason a collaborative EU-China relationship is crucial.
The EU’s engagement with China will be principled, practical and pragmatic, staying true to its interests and values, in particular adherence to international rules and norms, and respect for human rights. The EU should continue to work cohesively and effectively as a coherent block to achieve ambitious objectives on behalf of European citizens.
The Joint Communication will now be presented to the Council and to the European Parliament.