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EU – China regional and urban policy cooperation

On 15th May 2006, a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on regional policy cooperation was signed between the European Commission and the Chinese National Development and Reform Commission to exchange information and best practices on experiences in setting up and implementing cohesion policy.

By launching the co-operation with China on regional policy, the Commission followed up upon the commitment taken at the 7th China-EU Summit where balanced development and regional policy were identified as key areas on which both sides should share information and experience. Accordingly, the MoU between the NDRC and the Commission aims to promote mutual understanding and bilateral co-operation in the field of regional policy and to strengthen the exchange of information on the policy's contribution to growth, competitiveness and employment. The MoU provides a basis for sharing EU experiences in setting up and implementing regional policy; in governance and partnership issues and in any other topics of mutual interest relating to regional policy.

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Cooperation projects and initiatives

The exchange programme known as CETREGIO (Chinese European Training on Regional Policy) has created strong links between EU and Chinese cities and regions. In the period 2010-2014, more than 250 Chinese decision makers from all 31 provinces have shared experiences and visited good practices in more than 45 regions of 17 EU Member States.

China was one of the four non-EU countries selected in 2015-2016 to participate in the EU regional and urban policy action in the field of international cooperation, known as World Cities ; which paired EU cities and Chinese cities to exchange knowledge and experience on particular urban development challenges. The action proved highly successful, including from the point of view of producing new commercial opportunities for European and Chinese business.

A new programme has been implemented since 2017 as part of the actions under the International Urban Cooperation programme (IUC) to scale up and take forward previous successful cooperation between EU and Chinese regions and cities.IUC facilitates exchanges and promotes partnership agreements between cities on specific thematic areas to promote integrated approaches for sustainable urban development while addressing social, economic, demographic and environmental challenges.

The 'quadruple-helix' approach promoted under IUC has led to visible outcomes including for instance a freight railway connection, the establishment of cooperation centres among European and Chinese cities, a summer school on digital tools for urban planning, the involvement of European experts in planning new urban districts in China or a high level webinar series on the impacts of the blockchain technology for the smart city development. The second edition of IUC, under the denomination of International Urban and Regional Cooperation (IURC) programme will continue, as a global network, to act as vehicle for bringing cities and regions together to work on sustainable solutions to urban and territorial challenges during the period 2021-2024.

Under this new phase, 24 cities and 20 regions/provinces will work together under three thematic networks: the ecological transition and green deal; urban and regional renewal and social cohesion; and innovative sustainable and carbon-neutral ecosystems and strategic sectors.

Across these themes, they will focus on three cross-cutting challenges of our time: digital transition and the smart city, energy transition and climate change and post-covid recovery.

Documents

Report on EU-China Regional Policy Cooperation (2006-2016)
English
(372 MB - PDF)
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Joint Statement on Comprehensively Deepening EU-China Regional Policy Cooperation (2015)
English
(123 KB - PDF)
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Regional Policy in China and the EU - A comparative perspective (2011)
English
(612 KB - PDF)
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Memorandum of Understanding on regional policy cooperation with China
English
(91,6 KB - PDF)
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World Cities Final Report
English
(3.51 MB - PDF)
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Studies

EU-China Regional Innovation Joint Study
English
(5.89 MB - PDF)
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Report on joint study on regional policies in China and EU

Less Poverty, More Employment: Helping the European Union to achieve its 2020 targets - A Study of the organisation of the European Union Cohesion Policy with special reference to anti-poverty policy in the People's Republic of China
English
(16.7 MB - PDF)
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EU-China Cooperative Research Program on Regional Policy : Research Report of the Chinese Expert Group
English
(8.26 MB - PDF)
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