EU-China investment talks: a deal which would replace 26 bilateral investment agreements. Iuliu Winkler MEP

The EPP Group today welcomed the initiative to substantially upgrade EU-China economic relations. By building up a bilateral investment agreement with China, the EU will act, for the first time under the Lisbon Treaty, as the single institutional partner, replacing the current reality of 26 individual partners for our Chinese counterparts.
“We have to negotiate an ambitious and balanced EU-China investment agreement”, said Iuliu Winkler MEP, the Rapporteur. “We also support the better protection of intellectual property rights in China”, he added.
“Talks would touch upon highly-sensitive EU concerns and should therefore be carried out with the highest possible level of transparency and be subject to parliamentary oversight”, said the Rapporteur. This would be one of the main conditions for the European Parliament’s consent to the agreement.

Key issues the EPP Group supported include:
• inclusion of market access in the negotiations mandate;
• elimination of tariff and non-tariff barriers to trade;
• reform of the joint venture mechanism in China;
• better protection of intellectual property rights;
• enhanced transparency of governance rules for both state-owned and private companies;
• a level playing field and fair competition between all stakeholders;
• effective support of European SMEs to invest in China.
The EPP Group considers that the voice of the European SMEs must be heard during the negotiations and a clear timeframe for negotiations should be established. Reasonable and meaningful transitional periods should be considered.