EU and China to discuss competition policy and enforcement as relations hit low

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Officials and experts from the EU and China will meet from 28 to 31 March 2023 to discuss their cooperation on competition law and enforcement in the EU and China.

The discussions will focus on internal case review mechanisms, the role of economic analysis in merger review, as well as on legislative and case enforcement updates in the digital economy. Participants will also discuss the latest policy developments in EU State aid control that are of relevance to the market for electric cars, as well as updates to China’s subsidies review process and to its Fair Competition Review System, which aims at promoting a competitive and unified market by preventing public policies from distorting and restricting competition.

The EU-China Competition Week takes place twice per year, providing a platform for exchanges on competition policy and enforcement between the European Commission Directorate-General for Competition and the National Anti-Monopoly Bureau of the Chinese State Administration for Market Regulation.

The meeting is part of the Competition Cooperation project, a 5-year EU funded programme offering technical cooperation to competition authorities in Asia. The objective is to share experiences and strengthen convergence in competition policy, to the benefit of citizens and businesses in both the EU and in Asia.

The development of a cogent strategy has been hampered by divergent views on ties with China and a lack of cohesion among and among member states, EU institutions, and other European players. Some choose to prioritize political, security, or human rights problems while others wish to concentrate on commercial partnerships.

Most EU actions have so far been defensive against what it considers unfair economic practices or risks coming from Beijing. The European Union has set up a foreign investment screening mechanism, set guidelines warning against using 5G techology from suppliers considered high-risk and is working on implementing on imposing restrictions on Chinese involvement in the EU public procurement market.

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