Tag Archives: EU relations

EU-China: closer partners, growing responsibilities

EU-China: closer partners, growing responsibilities

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about EU-China: closer partners, growing responsibilities


These categories group together and put in context the legislative and non-legislative initiatives which deal with the same topic.

External relations > Relations with third countries > Asia

EU-China: closer partners, growing responsibilities

Document or Iniciative

Communication from the Commission to the Council and the European Parliament of 24 October 2006 entitled “EU-China: closer partners, growing responsibilities” [COM(2006) 631 final – Not published in the Official Journal].


The European Union (EU) supports the sustainable development of China by strengthening its partnership for political, economic and social reform. Strong economic growth in China has promoted stability and poverty reduction but the country still faces significant challenges.

In this respect, the two partners have decided to re-assess their trade and cooperation agreement in order to establish a more global partnership, covering the whole of their relationship.

The Commission also presents the cooperation priorities for the partners, which take into consideration their joint interests and the development of their relationship.

Supporting political transition

The EU and China hold regular political dialogue on human rights, the protection of minorities and the strengthening of the rule of law. In this field, the partners shall:

  • orient their objectives towards achieving concrete results;
  • monitor their actions;
  • coordinate their actions with bilateral dialogues conducted between China and the EU Member States.

Promoting energy efficiency and environmental protection

China and the EU are two of the principal actors in the global energy markets. Their cooperation is carried out within a context of increased energy demands. In particular, it aims to:

  • improve transparency and the regulatory environment of the energy sector;
  • exchange techniques and information for managing resources effectively, and the development of renewable energies;
  • favour investment and the opening up of public procurement;
  • promote the application of international standards.

On the basis of a joint declaration in 2005, the EU assists China on preventing pollution, protecting biodiversity, combating deforestation, and the sustainable management of fisheries, water resources and raw materials.

This declaration also opens the way for closer cooperation on tackling climate change, specifically in order to meet the requirements of the Kyoto Protocol.

Balancing economic and social development

The EU proposes extending the political dialogue to decent work standards, health and the ageing population.

In addition, China must reform its growth model in order to promote social inclusion and to increase the purchasing power of its population. The partners shall cooperate to define and implement balanced monetary and fiscal policies.

Improving trade and economic relations

The EU is China’s largest trading partner. Its imports represent more than 19 % of China’s external trade. In addition, the growing Chinese market represents a significant export opportunity for European companies.

In order to comply with commitments to the World Trade Organization (WTO), the partners must specifically:

  • promote the opening up of the Chinese market to investments and exports;
  • define fair trade rules, specifically regarding protecting intellectual property rights and decent work standards;
  • resolve trade disputes through dialogue or trade defence measures and the WTO dispute settlement system.

Strengthening sectoral cooperation

More targeted bilateral cooperation is needed in the following fields:

  • cooperation in science and technology, including the participation of researchers in the respective research programmes and projects of each of the partners;
  • immigration, to establish a legal framework for exchanges and readmission, but also concerning the fight against organised crime and terrorism;
  • cultural exchanges, by supporting relations between the civil societies;
  • education, through student exchange programmes and interaction between universities.

Encouraging security and international cooperation

The EU and China both have an interest in conducting a structured dialogue on peace and security in certain regions of the world, particularly in East Asia, where China is a key player. The EU also supports dialogue between China and Taiwan in order to promote the stability of the region.

The cooperation also concerns transparency on military expenditure, nuclear non-proliferation and the progressive lifting of the European arms embargo.

Lastly, the partners must work together to coordinate international actions in the area of development aid, particularly for sustainable development, peace and stability in Africa.


Land policy in developing countries

Land policy in developing countries

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Land policy in developing countries


These categories group together and put in context the legislative and non-legislative initiatives which deal with the same topic.

Development > Sectoral development policies

Land policy in developing countries

Document or Iniciative

Communication from the Commission to the Council and the European Parliament of 19 October 2004 – EU Guidelines to support land policy design and reform processes in developing countries [COM(2004) 686 final – Not published in the Official Journal].


The European Union (EU) supports land policy reforms in developing countries. To this end, the Commission provides guidelines to target the action of the Commission and EU Member States in this area.

Land reforms give rise to public policies on the distribution and use of agricultural land. Such reforms have implications in several areas, such as the fight against poverty, environmental management, market regulation, good governance, and democracy. They should be based on national consensus, and supported by rural organisations.

Land policy support

The EU focuses on certain aspects of land reform, in order to:

  • guarantee the security of land rights, through effective institutions and by taking into account both traditional and informal land access schemes;
  • analyse existing rules and practices, as well as land conflicts and modes of transfer;
  • establish innovative land access schemes, beyond the allocation of land rights, and by taking into account village, family or individual rights;
  • support the reform of land administrations, in particular to implement simple and transparent procedures, opportunities for appeal in the event of dispute, and actions to increase public awareness;
  • promote land rental markets, which are more accessible to the poor and less susceptible to the risks associated with farming. Such measures are subject to the existence of appropriate contractual rights.

Development assistance

Official Development Assistance allocated by the European Union and its Member States can be used to support public debate, and the preparation and implementation of reforms. It should also facilitate the implementation of thematic projects (research, environment, social development, etc), and reform evaluation actions.

National reform processes should include civil society and minority groups in a participatory process. Furthermore, reforms should focus primarily on areas where inequality persists.

The EU should also participate in the creation of partnerships, in order to prioritise common approaches, the sharing of experience, as well as facilitating coordination with international donors.

Finally, to be effective, European assistance should comply with certain principles:

  • providing solutions that are specific to the local social and institutional context;
  • establishing partnerships with the competent public authorities and stakeholders from civil society;
  • conducting regular political dialogue and encouraging coordination with the competent authorities;
  • supporting long-term processes;
  • supporting equality between men and women concerning the control over and use of land resources;
  • conducting public information and awareness-raising campaigns;
  • supporting research;
  • protecting the most deprived members of the population, and in particular indigenous peoples.

Towards an EU-Mexico strategic partnership

Towards an EU-Mexico strategic partnership

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Towards an EU-Mexico strategic partnership


These categories group together and put in context the legislative and non-legislative initiatives which deal with the same topic.

External relations > Relations with third countries > Latin america

Towards an EU-Mexico strategic partnership

Document or Iniciative

Communication from the Commission to the Council and the European Parliament of 15 July 2008 – Towards an EU-Mexico Strategic Partnership Communication [COM(2008) 447 final – Not published in the Official Journal].


The European Union (EU) and Mexico plan to establish a strategic partnership in order to extend the scope of their cooperation and political relationship. The two partners wish to improve their coordination on issues of common interest which have both a regional and global dimension.

Relations between the EU and Mexico are based on an agreement called the “Global Agreement”, which covers political dialogue, trade, cooperation and sectoral policies.

Political dialogue on two levels

Firstly, the new strategic framework lends additional impetus to political bilateral relations in the economic, social, human rights, security, environment, culture, education and also trade, competition, civil aviation and investment sectors.

Secondly, political dialogue is used in the context of multilateral relations, particularly within international organisations. The EU and Mexico may encourage exchanges between experts and policy-makers with a view to creating strategic alliances in the following areas:

  • political, concerning the rule of law, human rights, cultural dialogue and regional integration;
  • socioeconomic, concerning development policy, investment, innovation, intellectual property rights, social policy, migration, good governance in the area of tax, energy security and transport;
  • security, relating to the fight against terrorism, organised crime, drug and human trafficking;
  • environment, relating to climate change and natural disasters.

Bilateral discussions are taking place within institutional structures provided for by the global agreement (summits, joint councils and committees), and through thematic political dialogues (human rights, the environment, security, social cohesion, etc.).


Over the last two decades, Mexico has experienced significant socio-economic modernisation. Its economic competitiveness has increased and the country has become attractive to foreign investors, despite worsening security conditions.

Mexico can and should play an increasingly significant role globally, particularly as a cultural, political and regional gateway to South America, and also as a link between the industrialised countries and the emerging countries.

Instrument for Stability

Instrument for Stability

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Instrument for Stability


These categories group together and put in context the legislative and non-legislative initiatives which deal with the same topic.

External relations > Relations with third countries > Asia

Instrument for Stability (2007 – 2013)

Document or Iniciative

Regulation (EC) No 1717/2006 of the Parliament and of the Council of 12 November 2006 establishing an Instrument for Stability.


The Instrument for Stability finances cooperation actions for development and for financial, economic and technical cooperation led by the European Union (EU) in partnership with third countries. These actions aim to:

  • re-establish stability in emergency situations, situations of crisis or emerging crisis in order to enable the effective implementation of development and cooperation policies;
  • strengthen the capacity of third countries to prepare for crises and global and transregional threats.

In the case of crisis or emerging crisis situations, including situations which could evolve into armed conflict, the Instrument for Stability contributes to protecting democracy, law and order, the safety of individuals, human rights and fundamental freedoms.

The cooperation actions can also support:

  • the technical and logistical measures of state and non-state actors, and regional and international organisations;
  • establishing interim administrations;
  • the development of democratic public institutions and independent judiciaries;
  • national and international criminal courts and national reconciliation commissions;
  • the demobilisation and reintegration of former combatants into civil society and measures to address the situation of child soldiers and the rehabilitation of victims;
  • the development of civil society and the promotion of independent media;
  • reducing the impact on the civilian population of anti-personnel landmines and unexploded ordnance or explosive remnants of war;
  • the promotion of equal access to natural resources;
  • the response to natural or man-made disasters and threats to public health.

In cases where the situation of the country offers stable cooperation conditions, the Instrument for Stability can contribute, in particular, to:

  • improving the preparedness for crisis, in terms of response and rehabilitation;
  • strengthening the public institutions and infrastructures, including with regard to combating terrorism and organised crime and improving the security of critical infrastructure and public health;
  • mitigating the risks connected to chemical, biological, radiological or nuclear material or agents.

Implementing the aid

The aid provided must take into account the actions led by the other European instruments for external assistance.

The implementation of the fund is based on geographical and thematic strategy documents, and on the multi-annual indicative programmes for each country. Special measures may also be adopted in response to exceptional crises or situations.

Beneficiaries of the funding

Several types of actors can receive funding from the Instrument for Stability, whether they are in the EU or in third countries. They may be local, regional or national authorities in the partner countries, international organisations, public or private organisations, non-governmental organisations and natural persons.


The provisions of the Instrument for Stability repeal and replace the regulations concerning the rapid reaction mechanism and the different regulations concerning combating anti-personnel landmines.


Act Entry into force Deadline for transposition in the Member States Official Journal

Regulation (EC) No 1717/2006


OJ L 327, 24.11.2006

Related Acts

Proposal for a Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council amending Regulation (EC) No 1717/2006 establishing an Instrument for Stability [COM(2009) 195 final – Not published in the Official Journal].
This Proposal extends the application of the regulation for combating the illicit use of small arms and light weapons, in compliance with the aims of the Community’s cooperation policies.
Codecision procedure: (COD/2009/0058)