EC and China sign nine cooperation agreements to strengthen bilateral dialogue on essential issues

This Agreements are the result of the conversations held during the visit of Chinese Prime Minister Wen Jiabao to the European Commission. The visit has been instrumental in giving a high-level impulse to bilateral cooperation within the EU-China strategic partnership which the Commission intends to continue to develop and enhance based on mutual interest.

At the end of President Wen's visit, President Barroso underlined the importance that the Commission, as well as the European Union, attach to strengthening EU's already broad ties with China and invite China to engage with the EU in addressing two of the global challenges of 2009: overcoming the economic and financial crisis and reaching a comprehensive agreement on climate change in Copenhagen.

Both President Barroso and Premier Wen confirmed the mutual interest on pursuing the High Level Dialogue on economy and trade, and agreed on a second round to take place in April. Both parties expressed commitments to keep open markets, in the context of the current financial and economic crisis. In this sense, consultations on the continuation of the Doha round, as well as the Macroeconomic Dialogue should also be developed.

The visit has also taken place a couple of months after the first G20 meeting dedicated to the financial crisis (Washington, 15 November 2008) and two months before its next meeting on 2nd April, in London. It was therefore a very timely opportunity to make a mid-time review of the impact of the financial crisis both in China and in the EU and to discuss how China and the EU might work together more efficiently to prevent it from deepening further and easing its consequences on their respective economies and peoples.

EU-China Signed Cooperation Agreements

  • Erasmus Mundus External Cooperation Window, China Strand
  • EU-China Policy Dialogues Support Facility (PDSF+)
  • Civil Aviation Cooperation Programme
  • China-Europe Public Administration Project II (CEPA II)
  • Europe-China Clean Energy Centre (EC2)
  • Bilateral Coordination Mechanism on Forest Law Enforcement and Governance (FLEG)
  • Memorandum of Understanding on Occupational Health and Safety
  • Action Plan on Customs Cooperation between the European Community and China with regard to enforcement of Intellectual Property Rights (IPR)
  • EC-China Agreement on Drugs Precursors

One of the issues which focused the discussions both in the main meeting and the following official lunch was on fighting climate change, as 2009 will be a key year in the negotiations to reach a comprehensive post-2012 agreement at the U.N. Conference in Copenhagen in December. The European Union and China are two key players in this process, and as such, need to show leadership to ensure that we will succeed in reaching this objective.

During this official lunch, Prime Minister Wen, President Barroso and Czech Prime Minister Topolanek agreed that the XI EU-China Summit should be convened as soon as possible under Czech Presidency of the EU.

“This visit was a good opportunity to reinforce EU-China relations and gave an impulse to our bilateral cooperation as well as our activities in facing the current global challenges like the international economic and financial crisis”, highlighted President Barroso, adding that  “the year of the Ox, which represents hard-work and patience, started this week and is a very appropriate opportunity to make progress in our ongoing bilateral negotiations on a Partnership and Cooperation Agreement, to strengthen our dialogue on political and human rights issues, as a way of improving mutual understanding, and to achieve further successes in our bilateral cooperation”.