First China-EU Legal Affairs Dialogue

Joint Press Release – 21st June 2016

In the joint statement entitled "The way forward after forty years of EU-China cooperation", adopted during the EU-China Summit, which took place in Brussels on 29 June 2015, Premier Li Keqiang and Presidents Tusk and Juncker "shared the view that it is necessary to deepen understanding of each other’s legal systems, and agreed to establish an EU-China Legal Affairs Dialogue for policy exchanges, mutual learning and cooperation in legal affairs."

Hans Dietmar Schweisgut, Ambassador, Head of the EU Delegation to China and Mongolia Věra Jourová, EU Commissioner for Justice, Consumers and Gender Equality Song Dahan, Minister, State Council Legislative Affairs Office (SCLAO), China Wang Chao, Vice Minister, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, China.Accordingly, on 20 June 2016, the EU-China Legal Affairs Dialogue was jointly launched in Beijing by Minister Song Dahan, Minister of the Legislative Affairs Office of the State Council and European Commissioner for Justice, Consumers and Gender Equality Vĕra Jourová. After the launching ceremony, the first dialogue on the theme of e-commerce and consumer protection was held. Chinese and EU officials, experts and scholars had deep and fruitful exchanges and discussions on China's e-commerce developments, initiatives envisaged by the EU's digital single market strategy and China and the EU's legal framework for consumer protection in e-commerce.

The legal affairs dialogue is an important platform for EU-China cooperation and will help further develop their partnership. The EU and China have a common interest in better understanding their respective legal systems, largely because of their important role for exchanges in many other sectors such as trade and investment, technology, agriculture, health and social issues, urbanisation, environment protection etc. The new exchange mechanism on legal affairs will further enhance the EU-China partnership as it will provide a platform to exchange experiences on the Rule of Law and increase mutual understanding.

Both sides agreed that the second legal affairs dialogue will be held in 2017 in Brussels on a topic agreed by both sides and that, subsequently, the EU-China Legal Affairs Dialogue will be held every year, alternately in China and in Brussels. It will consist of a high level segment and be followed by workshops on topics related to the overall theme of the dialogue. The Legal Affairs dialogue will help create specialised EU-China networks to bring continuity to the exchanges. Both sides welcome concrete cooperation projects between the EU and China and will seek to launch or develop such projects in connection with the Legal Affairs Dialogue.

Both sides agreed that the dialogue will be based on equality and mutual respect and promote exchange of experiences, mutually beneficial cooperation and friendly consultation, with a view to increasing mutual understanding and trust.

Article published by Commissioner Vĕra Jourová on the new EU-China Legal Affairs Dialogue.