Venue: Fondation Universitaire, 11 Rue d’Egmont, Brussels


Topic: “China and Europe: Partners or Competitors”


The next meeting of our Economic and Social Commission (ESC) will take place on Tuesday, 8 October 2019 from 10am to 5pm at Fondation Universitaire, 11, rue d’Egmont, Brussels.

The theme of the meeting will be: “China and Europe, partners or competitors?

The topics suggested for discussion are as follows:

  • Assessment and extent of the change in commercial and financial relations between Europe and China in the medium term.
  • What might Europe’s standpoint be with regard to the major bilateral trade dispute between China and the USA, triggered by President Donald Trump?
  • Has China’s admission to the WTO produced the expected results? Which rules has it not complied with (counterfeiting, dumping, improper financial support to public companies, difficulty accessing public contracts, offset requirements)?
  • The issue of foreign investments – Chinese in Europe, European in China – should it be subject to specific measures? How can reciprocity and equal treatment be ensured? Difficulties due to the lack of “Rule of law” in the economic sphere.
  • Problems caused by the possible use of new technologies for espionage purposes. Is it desirable, or rather, dangerous, to limit Chinese companies’ access to these technologies and, conversely, use of Chinese technologies by European countries?
  • Strategic opportunities opened up by the “silk road” in its various forms (“One belt, one road” – OBOR -; maritime silk road); opportunities and dangers for EU member states and neighbouring regions (Africa, Middle East).


The participants in this discussion will be:

  • Françoise Nicolas, Director of the Centre for Asian Studies at the French Institute of International Relations (Institut français des Relations Internationales – IFRI)
  • Antonio Martins da Cruz, former Portuguese Minister for Foreign Affairs
  • Heiko Willems, Representative in Brussels for the BDI (Bundesverband der Deutschen Industrie)
  • Maria MARTIN-PRAT, Director at the European Commission, negotiator of the EU-China Investment Agreement.
  • Jean-Louis Buchalet, Chairman of Pythagore Investissements, author of the book “China, a ticking time bomb” (Ed. Eyrolles, 2019)
  • Massimo Deandreis, General Manager S.R.M. Economic Research Center related to Intesa Sanpaolo Group


The talks are scheduled to take place in the morning. Each talk should last approximately 20 minutes and will be followed by a brief discussion.

After lunch on site[1], the afternoon will be devoted to discussing an ELEC draft resolution.


If you are able to attend this meeting, please register with:

  • either the League’s general secretariat in Brussels, by email: [email protected]
  • or the secretariat of the League’s Economic and Social Commission in Paris, by email: [email protected] or by telephone: +33 1 45 65 98 76.


[1] Lunch will be in the form of a light buffet, for those who wish to avail themselves of it. There are also restaurants available nearby (duration of lunch break: 1 hour)