On 17–18 October, the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) held the first of two workshops on ‘China–European Union (EU) Relations in an Era of Connectivity’.
The workshop convened a group of 20–25 Chinese and European experts with various academic, diplomatic, legal, and technical backgrounds. The workshop comes at a time when relations between China and the EU have reached an important turning point. In Europe, there has been increasing scepticism towards China’s Belt and Road Initiative. Meanwhile, the EU continues to develop a more comprehensive framework for dealing with China.
The two-day workshop included several panels that focused on how China–EU relations are evolving; the challenges of connectivity between China and the EU, in particular, digital connectivity and transportation infrastructure; and the security dimensions of connectivity projects in relation to the EU and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). Existing mechanisms to address these risks and opportunities were also identified.
This workshop was made possible with the support of the Chinese Embassy in Sweden. Initial findings from this workshop will be presented by the end of 2019. The final findings and project report will be available in October 2020.