EU-China summit flags
External publication
2 min read

Dependence in Europe's Relations with China

Weighing Perceptions and Reality

The eighth report by the European Think-tank Network on China (ETNC) looks at how Europe’s dependencies on China are presented to the public and in policy-level debates and the resulting influence on policymaking. This report is based on distinct analyses of 18 countries and the EU institutions. It concludes that even though there is a common refrain of growing dependence on China, throughout Europe the public debates and policy-level assessments are quite diverse. Europe is searching for a balance between openness and security — between yielding the benefits of interdependence and reducing the vulnerabilities of dependence. This year’s report has been edited by John Seaman, Francesca Ghiretti, Lucas Erlbacher, Xiaoxue Martin and Miguel Otero-Iglesias.

MERICS Analysts Bernhard Bartsch, Barbara Pongratz and Vincent Brussee contribute to the German chapter of the ETNC report. They conclude that notwithstanding the major political discussion about German economic dependence on China, mutual interdependence is closer to reality. Even as the development of a new China strategy will assess the dependency by the end of 2022, the Russian invasion in Ukraine has caused a reshuffling of priorities which might hamper political measures.

You can download a full text version of this chapter and the full ETNC report.

The European Think-tank Network on China (ETNC) is a gathering of China experts from a selection of European policy research institutes. It is devoted to the policy-oriented study of Chinese foreign policy and relations between China and European countries as well as China and the EU.