In developing its international trade strategy since 2006, the EU has placed a strong emphasis on concluding Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) with dynamic East Asian economies. Until very recently, however, no explicit mention has been made of China – the region’s largest and most dynamic economy – as a possible candidate for an FTA with the EU. This oversight becomes even more glaring if one considers the magnitude of the economic intercourse that already exists today between these two trading partners. China is the logical sequel in the Union’s trade strategy for East Asia. This study attempts to provide a solid analytical basis for negotiations on an EU-China Free Trade Agreement (formally, Free Trade Area treaty). The first official suggestion for such an FTA, made by Chinese President Xi Jin Ping in the spring of 2014, has recently been considered, cautiously and under various conditions, by the EU as well.
ORBIS is powered by ESPAS, the European Strategy and Policy Analysis System, a unique inter-institutional project aimed at strengthening the EU's efforts in the crucial area of forward planning. ESPAS brings together the European Commission, the European Parliament, the Secretariat General of the Council of the European Union and the European External Action Service to strengthen the Union's collective administrative capacity to identify and analyse the key trends and challenges, and the resulting policy choices, which are likely to confront Europe and the wider world in the decades ahead.