EU – China cooperation

EU – China cooperation

The Directorate-General (DG) for Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs works to address issues encountered by EU industry when operating in, or exporting to China, through dialogues with the Administration for Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine of China and the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology. The EU and China also cooperate on space and tourism.

These dialogues help EU companies and policymakers better understand the Chinese legal and regulatory framework. They contribute to the free and safe circulation of goods through the promotion of convergence of regulations and standardisation in China and the EU.

The dialogues are also used to promote reforms needed to improve the business environment in China and provide a framework for EU support for open and non-discriminatory markets. They cover all industrial products that are subject to technical regulations in the DG Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs portfolio and industry-wide issues such as conformity assessment (including certification and accreditation) and standardisation. Each dialogue has established sectorial working groups.

Dialogue with the Administration for Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine of China (AQSIQ)

This dialogue has been running since 2001 and has made continuous progress. Cooperation is very effective in the areas of standards and conformity assessment. In 2012, a web-based tool, the Europe-China Standardization Information Platform (CESIP), was launched to offer businesses information about the standards that are applicable to highly-traded, regulated products. This platform can help small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs) in their quest to go international.

In the area of conformity assessment, one priority is to increase exchanges on product risk assessment, risk management and market surveillance to support China’s work on simplifying the China Compulsory Certification (CCC) scheme – a system that requires certain products to meet National Chinese Standards. Other priorities are: fostering international standards, making better use of voluntary international conformity assessment schemes and improving competition in certification services.

The dialogue with AQSIQ is held on a regular basis at working group level. In addition to standardisation and conformity assessment, there are working groups on the following sectors:

  • automotive
  • chemicals
  • electrical and mechanical products
  • textiles
  • toys
  • wine and spirits

A plenary meeting takes place annually to discuss major issues and plan future cooperation. The last plenary meeting took place in November 2015.

Website of the Administration for Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine of China (AQSIQ)

Dialogue with the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT)

The dialogue with MIIT covers industrial policy in general, with specific working groups on:

  • energy efficiency and emissions reduction in industry
  • SME policy
  • automobiles
  • shipbuilding
  • raw materials

The 5th plenary with MIIT took place in November 2015 and was chaired by Vice-Minister Xin Guobin and Director-General of DG Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs, Lowri Evans.

Dialogue on space

DG Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs also has a dialogue on space with China’s Ministry of Science and Technology (MoST). A joint statement on cooperation was signed during the EU-China Summit in September 2012 between former European Commission Vice-President Antonio Tajani and Minister Wan Gang. The third meeting of the European Union-ESA–China Space Dialogue took place on 19 June 2015 in ESA HQ, Paris. The meeting was chaired by Jean-Jacques Dordain, ESA, Director General, Daniel Calleja, former Director-General of this DG and Mr Jianlin CAO, Vice Minister.

Space cooperation between Europe and China is growing rapidly. Both sides welcomed the ITU (International Telecommunication Union) frequency coordination that has been achieved between Galileo and BeiDou in January 2015. Cooperation is also continuing through the China-Europe GNSS Technology Training and Cooperation Centre (CENC). Chinese organisations have been involved in Horizon 2020 space research projects such as COMPET (Space Science and Exploration) and in PROTECT (Space Weather and Near Earth Objects).