Category: Global Governance

EU-China Comprehensive Agreement on Investment: Stakes for a constructive balance of power

By Philippe Coste, Pierre-Noël Giraud, Stéphane Gompertz, Henri de Grossouvre, Fatima Hadj, Brice Lalonde, François Loos, François Quentin, Joël Ruet, Raphaël Schoentgen, Alex Wang, avec Clarisse Comte et Claire Thomas.

After seven years of negotiations, the European Union and China reached an investment agreement on December 30, 2020. While Beijing sees in it the promotion of a “high degree of openness”, the EU aspires through this treaty to establish the long sought after “equality of market conditions”.

To carry out this project, a balance between the strategic interests of each side and common objectives on which to agree remains to be found… just as it remains to find avenues for concrete action.

Find the analysis note in French :2021-03-Issue-Brief-UE-CHINETélécharger

• This treaty provides for the intensification of economic and trade relations between the EU and China. It guarantees EU investors greater access to China and also helps to create more balanced conditions of competition.

• Areas of collaboration are proposed here, in various fileds : political (place of China in international organizations, global governance), legal (international standards, ESG), industrial (mobility, decarbonisation, role of SMEs), economic, environmental, scientific , technological (energy transition, carbon capture, hydrogen, nuclear, new energies), financial (coordinated introduction of carbon prices) and cultural.

• For the EU, it is above all a matter of asserting its strategic interests in a coordinated manner with the member countries during the ratification process.

The long-term issues of technological sovereignty, of competition between blocs, all possible causes of “stop and go” in bilateral relations must be seriously dealt with.

Despite the identified obstacles, maintaining an open but precise dialogue between the EU and China is essential. The European Union must continue its transformation and ensure respect for its increase in diplomatic power both within the EU and in its relationship with China: beyond state-to-state relations, it is up to the EU in as a community to negotiate the terms of a new bilateral relationship with China. It is in this way that it will confirm its status as a “balancing power”.

The Organization for the Development of the Senegal River Basin (OMVS) will be a candidate for the Nobel Peace Prize

On 12th March 2021, in Kayes, Mali, our Board Member Hamed Semega, announced the Senegal River basin organization (OMVS) will run for the Peace Nobel Prize. OMVS, an international organization under Guinea, Mali, Mauritania, Senegal, today celebrates its 49th anniversary. Heading towards 50, and ahead of the upcoming Word Water Forum, the 4 states realize the OMVS has been a factor of peace, stability and development in the region. Just as IPCC got the Prize on climate change mitigation, we wish the OMVS will get the prize for huge climate adaptation efforts it does on top of peace.

Senegal: The political crisis shaking the country

3 of our Founding Board Members from Senegal were mobilized in the international and national media during the restlessness the country experienced; Aissata Tall-Sall Minister of Foreign Affairs, Elhaj Kasse Special Adviser to the President and Mamadou Lamine Diallo, member of the National Assembly and one of the leaders of the democratic opposition

Signing of the investment agreement between the EU and China

Ambassador Sylvie Bermann and our chairman Joel Ruet exchanged notes on Chinese TV on the EU-China investment agreement; noting that it not only concludes 7 years of negotiations but also of seeing on both sides the emergence of a different vision of the world. While many issues remain to be finetuned, ambassador Bermann recalled the agreement answers queries made by the EU and follow a European approach on the economy

Meeting between Hakima El Haite, President of the Liberal International and Ivorian President Alassane Ouattara

Hakima El Haite, President of Liberal International and member of the Bridge Tank’s board, had a private audience with Alassane Ouattara, the Ivorian President, on the 15th of December 2020. This event took place aside from Alassane Ouattara’s re-election and investiture as president, after his campaign as the candidate of the Rally of Republicans. He is also the leader of this party. They exchanged about the activities of the Liberal International, as well as about the development perspectives of Côte d’Ivoire.

Liberal International is the world federation of liberal and progressive democratic political parties. Recently, it notably called for democracy and human rights to be respected in the Ugandan elections and called on the United Nations’ Commission on the Status of Women to condemn violence against Egyptian women human rights defenders.

OMVS presents a check for 200 million CFA francs for the 9th World Water Forum

Hamed Semega, member of the Bridge Tank’s board and High Commissioner to Sub-Regional Organisation for the Senegal River Basin Development Authority (Organisation de Mise en Valeur du Fleuve Senegal, OMVS), handed the organisers of the 9th World Water Forum (which will take place in 2022) a 200 million CFA francs check from the OMVS.

The official ceremony to welcome this financial support took place on the 11th of December 2020 in Dakar. During this event, an agreement of partnership was also signed between the OMVS and the forum’s executive secretariat to ensure cooperation between these two entities in 2021. In this agreement, the OMVS committed to support mobilisation of resources necessary to the organisation of workshops and other projects integrated to the Dakar 2021 initiative

Liberal forum for political dialogue: freedom of the press and the fight against fake news in the digital age

El Hadj Kasse, member of the Bridge Tank’s board, was one of the keynote speakers of the Liberal Forum of Political Dialogue dedicated to the freedom of the press and the fight against fake news during the digital age. This event took place on the 7th of December 2020 in Dakar, Senegal. 

Among the other keynote speakers were Seydou Gueye, Spokesperson and Communications Coordinator for the presidency of the Republic, Mamadou Ibra Kane, Director General of the Future Media Group, and Mame Less Camara, Director of Information for the Future Media group.

T20 handover between Saudi Arabia and Italy

The T20 presidency handover between Saudi Arabia and Italy took place on the 30th of November 2020. The Argentinian, Japanese and Saudi chairs of the former presidencies attended this important event, to highlight the continuity of the works and research of the T20. The Bridge Tank has been a member of the T20 since 2016, and will participate to the Italian presidency’s works in 2021.

On the occasion of this handover, a debate was organised on themes such as the lesson from the past presidencies, the challenges and priorities for the Italian presidency, and the coming challenges for multilateralism. Among the keynote speakers of this debate were Pietro Benaéssi, Sherpa of the G20 for Italy, Fahad M. Alturki, Chair of the T20 for Saudi Arabia, Paolo Magri, Chair of the T20 for Italy, Julia Pomares and Gustavo Martinez, chairs of the T20 for Argentina, Naoyuki Yoshino, chair of the T20 for Japan, and Ettore Greco and Antonio Villafranca, coordinators of the T20 for Italy. This debate was chaired by James McGann, Director of the Think Tanks and Civil Societies Program of the Lauder Institute of the University of Pennsylvania.

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