16+1': Promises and pitfalls for EU-China trade negotiations in the context of one belt one road cooperation

AuthorTeodora-Maria Chihaia
PositionTeodora Chihaia is a master student at Koguan Law School, Shanghai JiaoTong University - China
Teodora-Maria CHIHAIA
This brief pr esentation aims to increase the understanding of international trade negotiations
between China Central a nd Eastern Europe region a s well as Europe thr ough the framework of One
Belt One Road ( OBOR ) cooperation, with a focus on the legal perspective regarding the rule of law
conditionalities, EU external tra de relationship on the basis of r espect for rule of law and the
restora tion of trust towar d the creation of new rules.
Keywords: China CEE cooperation, Eur ope, OBOR, interna tional negotiations, rule of law,
integration, diplomacy, bilater al relations, tr ade and investment.
1. International Trade Negotiations
between EU and China
The current growing global tensions,
increasing protectionism and geopolitical
unpredictability offers a prospect for the EU
and China to demonstrate their shared
commitment to conquering protectio nism
and safeguarding rule - based multilateral
trading system for sustainable economic
growth and prosperity1.
The EU and China ha ve much in
common as they are the most externally
Teodora Chihaia is a master student at Koguan Law School, Shanghai JiaoTong University China. Former
Economic Affairs Intern of United Nations ESCAP ( Asia-Pacific Headquarters located in Bangkok, Thailand). She
is also member of the World Youth Leaders Union a non-profit NGO allying outstanding youth leaders
organizations and individuals from all over the world to build a global platform for youth leaders to exchange,
cooperate and promote the healthy sust ainable development of human economy and society (e-mail:
chihaia_t@yahoo.com). China CEE cooperation, partnership established in Warsaw, 2012 with the purpose of
strengthening and facilitate the implementation of OBOR project along with 16 participant countries : Poland, the
Czech Republic, Hungary, Slovakia plus Albania, Bulgaria, Romania and all the post-Yugoslavian states: Croatia,
Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Former Yugoslav republic of Macedonia, Montenegro and Slovenia, followed
by the three Baltic states - Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia.
1 Anna Saarela, A new era i n EU China relat ions: more wide-ranging strategic coopera tion? , Policy
Department for External Relations, European Union, 2018, p. 4.
2 Alicia G. Herrero et. all, Intr oduction to EU China economic rela tions to 2025. Building a common future.
Chatam House, London, 2017, p. 2.
3 Alicia G. Herrero, op.cit., p. 2.
ТntОРratОНă ОМonomТОsă аТtСă tСОТră GDP’s
ranking number 2 and 3 in the world, as well
asă bОТnРă ОaМСă otСОr’să larРОstă sourМОă oПă
imports and second largest exports
destination2. Therefore, both powers should
consider whether deepening their economic
relationship could bring mutual benefits in
terms of dr iving economic growth, creating
jobs and improving levels of social fare3.
The EU is commited to develop
trading relationships with China that are
governed by fair trade, respect of intellectual
property rights and in accordance with WTO
regulations. When China joined the WTO in

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