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China | Brussels 29 June 2015

17th EU-China summit in Brussels

The 17th bilateral summit between the European Union and the People’s Republic of China took place in Brussels on Monday 29 June 2015. Jean-Claude Juncker, President of the European Commission, Donald Tusk, President of the European Council and Premier Li Keqiang of the State Council of the People’s Republic of China celebrated the 40th anniversary of EU-China diplomatic relations, acknowledging the significant strides in the political, economic, social, environmental and cultural relations between the EU and China.

High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy/Vice-President of the Commission Federica Mogherini also participated, alongside Vice President for Jobs, Growth, Investment and Competitiveness Jyrki Katainen and Commissioner for Trade Cecilia Malmström.

During the Summit, the leaders of both sides reconfirmed their commitment to reinforcing cooperation on the protection and enforcement of Intellectual Property (IP) Rights. The EU-China IP Dialogue Mechanism was further reinforced with the signature of a Memorandum of Understanding by Commissioner for Trade, Cecilia Malmström and the Chinese Minister of Commerce, Gao. Its main objective is the improvement of the IP environment as one of the key conditions to promote creativity, innovation and investment, and the deepening of mutual understanding and public awareness of IP issues in the EU and China. It further includes the mutual commitment to developing joint initiatives aiming at supporting the protection and enforcement of IP rights, including trade secrets, and the fight against online counterfeiting and piracy.

Separately, the EU and China also committed to facilitating trade between the two sides thanks to a new landmark customs agreement. The two sides said that they would take all the necessary steps to pave the way for a mutual recognition agreement that will come into force in November 2015, allowing EU and Chinese trusted traders to enjoy lower costs, simplified procedures and greater predictability in their activities. The agreement means that companies will benefit from faster controls and reduced administration for customs clearance. Mutual recognition of trusted traders also allows customs to focus their resources on real risk areas, which improves supply chain security on both sides. The EU is the first trading partner to enter into such an agreement with China, having already signed similar deals with the USA (2012) and Japan (2011).

Trade between China and the EU is worth more than €1 billion every day. Today, we form the second-largest economic cooperation in the world. Bilateral trade in goods reached € 467.2 billion in 2014.

President Juncker also spoke at the EU-China Business Summit and Urbanisation Forum in the margins of the Summit.

Carlos Moedas, Commissioner for Research, Science and Innovation, and WAN Gang, Chinese Minister for Science and Technology, agreed today to step up EU-China cooperation in the field of research and innovation at the 2nd EU-China Innovation Co-operation Dialogue, in the margins of Summit.

The EU and China decided to set up a new co-funding mechanism to support joint research and innovation projects in strategic areas. This will be funded through Horizon 2020, the EU's research and innovation programme, and relevant research and innovation funding programmes on the Chinese side. They will also work to ensure reciprocal access to their respective research and innovation funding programmes through appropriate participation rules, regular exchange of data and the timely provision of information to participants.

In addition, Commissioner Moedas and Minister WAN also signed an agreement to launch a new research initiative to facilitate young Chinese scientists supported by the National Natural Science Foundation (NSFC) to join projects funded by the European Research Council (ERC). The agreement, signed in the presence of ERC President Pierre Bourgignon, and Vice President of the NSFC Liu Congqiang, is expected to lead to the first scientific exchanges later this autumn.

As part of the research cooperation between the EU and China, a new collaborative research arrangement has also been made between the European Commission's Joint Research Centre (JRC) and the Chinese Academy of Sciences' Institute for Remote Sensing and Digital Earth (CAS-RADI). The agreement, signed by Vladimir Šucha, Director-General of the JRC and Professor Guo Huadong, Director-General of the Chinese CAS-RADI, will contribute to addressing global challenges, such as sustainable development, climate action and disaster risk reduction.

Speech given by EU Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmström

Memorandum of Understanding


For more information

Summit page
EU-China trade
EU-China relations