Monday

20th May 2019

Focus

EU parliament's political families meet with Chinese Communist Party

A three-day forum of political heavyweights from the EU and China ended on Wednesday with kind words at a half-hour press conference.

The EU-China High-Level Group, the second of its kind after a first encounter in Beijing last year, brought together the leaders of the big European political families and representatives of the Communist Party of China (CPC).

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Support quality EU news

Get instant access to all articles — and 18 year's of archives. 30 days free trial.

... or join as a group

“We discussed EU-China co-operation, social development and reforms, the construction of democracy and legal systems, sustainable development, and global economic governance,” said MEP Reinhard Buetikofer of the Greens, who chaired the meeting.

The discussions were held in “a spirit of co-operation”, accoring to MEP Veronique De Keyser of the Socialist group in the parliament.

“Participants from both sides understand that only with constructive dialogue, mutual trust and tolerance can we enhance understanding, avoid misjudgement and lay a solid foundation for our partnership,” said Li Jinjun, deputy minister of the central committee of the CPC.

“To us Europeans, the forum has been a success. There is an evolution in the quality and the openness of the speeches. It is the liberty of the tone that marks this forum’s success,” said De Keyser.

“We used to just make our statements without there being much debate at all. But this time around, we really had an exchange of views, and I think that is great progress. [The forum] doesn’t lead to any concrete political outcome but it does add to understanding.” said Markus Loening, vice-president of the European Liberal Democrat and Reform party and German commissioner on human rights.

The forum’s busy programme, held nearly entirely behind closed doors, included a meeting with Jerzy Buzek, president of the European parliament, and speeches from several MEPs and EU trade commissioner Karel de Gught and social affairs commissioner Laszlo Andor.

“The EU is committed to help China’s transition towards an open society, support China’s economic and social reforms, and integrate China even further into the world trading system,” said Andor.

Ways in which China might be able to help the EU, however, were not explored as much, according to De Keyser: “We didn’t talk much about how or whether China could contribute to the European bail-out fund, [the European Financial Stability Fund]. That subject wasn’t on the programme.”

True to the spirit of the meetings, Xie Duo, director-general of the financial market department of the People's Bank of China, said that he trusts the euro will survive the crisis.

“We think that the crisis is temporary. We believe that European governments will find the way out of the crisis. We believe that the euro will be strong and stable. The Central Bank of China supports the European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund for their support to the euro currency,” he said.

He further stated that the best way to stimulate the global economy is to stimulate growth at home (see video). "We also face a lot of problems in China. If we can successfully control the inflation in China, if we can successfully transform our economic development model, it will help the world economic recovery."

China shows interest in sponsoring EU bail-outs

Chinese diplomats are awaiting a detailed proposal on taking part in the EU bail-out fund, the EFSF, while promising not to push for market economy status or lifting the arms embargo in return.

China urges Germany and France to solve euro-crisis

Chinese Prime Minister Wen Jiabao on Thursday offered vague promises to buy bonds from troubled euro-countries, but said that it is ultimately up to Germany and France to solve the crisis.

News in Brief

  1. EU flies rainbow flag on anti-homophobia day
  2. EU to freeze money and visas of foreign cyber-attackers
  3. EU reassures US on arms sales
  4. Use euros over dollars in energy contracts, France says
  5. UK cross-party Brexit talks collapse
  6. Climate activists occupy German-Russian gas pipeline
  7. Farage got €515,000 of private perks
  8. French EU commissioner urges Italy not to overspend

Timmermans calls for left-wing coalition at debate

The centre-right's Manfred Weber got most of the heat at the EU Commission presidential candidates' final debate before the European elections, while Frans Timmermans reached out to a possible coalition partners - piling more pressure on Weber's EPP.

Magazine

All about the European Parliament elections 2019

EUobserver's new magazine is meant to help readers prepare for the European Parliament elections, no matter their level of knowledge. You can download and read the entire magazine now.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Vote for the EU Sutainable Energy AwardsCast your vote for your favourite EUSEW Award finalist. You choose the winner of 2019 Citizen’s Award.
  2. Nordic Council of MinistersEducation gets refugees into work
  3. Counter BalanceSign the petition to help reform the EU’s Bank
  4. UNICEFChild rights organisations encourage candidates for EU elections to become Child Rights Champions
  5. UNESDAUNESDA Outlines 2019-2024 Aspirations: Sustainability, Responsibility, Competitiveness
  6. Counter BalanceRecord citizens’ input to EU bank’s consultation calls on EIB to abandon fossil fuels
  7. International Partnership for Human RightsAnnual EU-Turkmenistan Human Rights Dialogue takes place in Ashgabat
  8. Nordic Council of MinistersNew campaign: spot, capture and share Traces of North
  9. Nordic Council of MinistersLeading Nordic candidates go head-to-head in EU election debate
  10. Nordic Council of MinistersNew Secretary General: Nordic co-operation must benefit everybody
  11. Platform for Peace and JusticeMEP Kati Piri: “Our red line on Turkey has been crossed”
  12. UNICEF2018 deadliest year yet for children in Syria as war enters 9th year

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us