New ETNC Report: Dependence in Europe’s Relations with China

Dependence in Europe’s Relations with China: Weighing Perceptions and Reality

A report of the European Think-tank Network on China (ETNC), April 2021

John SEAMAN, Francesca GHIRETTI, Lucas ERLBACHER, Xiaoxue MARTIN, Miguel OTERO-IGLESIAS (eds.)

Monday 25 April 2022

For the eighth report since its inception in 2014, the European Think-tank Network on China (ETNC) brings together analysis on 18 countries plus the European Union to examine how dependencies on China are presented in European public and policy-level debates, and how the notion shapes policymaking in each case.

Europe today is searching for a new balance between openness and security—between yielding the benefits of interdependence and reducing the vulnerabilities of dependence. This is not a process that is solely about China, but it is nevertheless one that will fundamentally impact relations with it.

As demonstrated in the report’s chapter on the European Union, written by Ifri’s Marie Krpata, a robust body of work is being done by EU institutions to understand Europe’s dependencies and craft policies to address them at the macro level. While written independently, the report makes a qualitative complement to these ongoing efforts by bringing together analyses from authors with keen insights into their national contexts.

A striking observation from these analyses is that, beyond the EU institutions, surprisingly few states have made concerted efforts to assess their dependencies with any degree of depth. In only a quarter of countries observed has there been a significant level of public debate coupled with concerted policy-level action to both understand and address issues around dependence.

The ETNC brings together experts from 20 research institutes across Europe. Ifri is a co-founding and coordinating member of the network.




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