Power from Within: The Benchmark for EU Unity on China

“The EU needs to practice the language of power, not just speak it,” said the EU’s High Representative Josep Borrell during the 2020 EU Ambassadors’ Conference. In a similar vein, following the election of Joe Biden, Borrell...

Forgotten Promises: Bilateral Investment Treaties Between CEE and China

Since the late 1980s, China has actively signed Bilateral Investment Treaties (BITs) with every country in Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) apart from Montenegro. These treaties remain effective today and oblige CEE countries to afford protection for...

United Front Reaches Central Europe? Chinese Diaspora during COVID-19

Central Europe is home to a small Chinese community that rarely makes headlines. However, during the COVID-19 pandemic, diaspora activities in the region stand at the forefront of China’s “mask diplomacy”. 

The EU’s New China Policy Works

September’s special virtual meeting between the EU and Chinese leaders stirred once again a heated discussion about its outcome. The prevailing assessment was that tangible results of the meeting were minor if not non-existent. Similar assessments were...

As EU-China Relations Sour, Will Taiwan Find an Opening?

With the One-China Policy framed by Beijing as non-negotiable, European policymakers have remained cautious about their approach to Taiwan for decades. However, with Taiwan’s effective response to COVID-19 and little progress in Beijing-Brussels relations, the EU might...

Fragmented Screening of Chinese Investments in CEE

Countries in Central and Eastern Europe have been perceived to have a less sensitive attitude towards foreign direct investments (FDI), leading to a common reputation as an easier entry point into the EU for foreign investors. Unfortunately,...

How China is Buying Influence in Europe

As the novel coronavirus ravages national economies and people’s lives, leaving businesses and countries struggling for years, the European Union has issued a warning, requesting the Member States “to be vigilant and use all tools available at...

The EU’s Emerging Toolbox to Level the Playing Field with China

On June 17, 2020, the European Commission published a White Paper on foreign subsidies in the EU. The measures proposed aim to level the playing field by putting forward new legal tools to deal with distortions in...

EU’s Struggle to Tackle the China Challenge Continues

The EU is facing a reckoning over its relations with China. Recently, Brussels faced a barrage of criticism for acceding to China’s pressure. The first case was acquiescence to the pressure by Chinese diplomats to water down...

“Zooming” in on EU’s Cyber Sovereignty Efforts

The new European Commission vowed to make Europe “fit for the digital age” one of its priorities. Speaking in front of the European Parliament in her inauguration speech, Commission President Ursula von der Leyen contended that the...

Proposed EU Criteria for New Members Show Wary Europe Has China on Its Mind

The communications of the European Commission rarely receive international media attention, even on days when they do not have to compete with a possible pandemic and the impeachment drama of an American president. It has to be admitted that the eight-page document released...

The EU Needs to Face China’s Threat to Academic Freedom

In general, academic exchanges are usually not framed within the concept of state security - neither external, nor internal. Quite the contrary, they are associated with establishing platforms of communication, enhancing people-to-people contacts and creating synergies for research. This non-zero sum...