The European Union (EU) wishes to take the Sino-EU strategic
partnership forward this year by increasing cooperation in
improving energy efficiency and the reduction of greenhouse gas
Serge Abou, the EU ambassador to Beijing, said energy security
and climate change were priorities for the EU this year and neither
issue could be effectively addressed without China's
He said the European Commission wished to work with China to
help the latter "promote energy standards and savings through the
development and deployment of near zero emission coal technology on
carbon capture and storage."
The EU would like to share its regulatory expertise and
standards, he said. The European bloc was keen to ensure China's
early engagement in the application of the new technology.
Analyzing the current state of bilateral relations the
ambassador said China and the EU were moving toward a meaningful
and realistic relationship -- differences remained but were being
He said the two had maintained frequent high-level exchanges and
noted that three more senior EU officials including Trade
Commissioner, Peter Mandelson, were to visit Beijing before the
Abou said the recently launched negotiations for a new
Partnership and Cooperation Agreement including updating a
bilateral 1985 Trade and Economic Cooperation Agreement, currently
the only legal basis for cooperation, marked a good beginning for
bilateral cooperation this year.
Though the EU "looks forward to the timely conclusion of
negotiations of the new agreement", Abou said, he couldn't give a
timeframe for the completion of the "complex and wide-ranging"
He said it would take "as long as it takes" but hoped to make
substantive progress by November when the annual China-EU summit is
held in Beijing.
In addition to trade the agreement will provide a comprehensive
framework for the 22 sectors in which China and the EU already hold
talks including energy, the environment, agriculture, transport,
customs, education, information, science and technology.
"Negotiations for new agreement in various forms are going
smoothly," said Abou.
Calling it the first major project of 2007, Abou said the
Europe-China School of Law was aimed at expanding the knowledge of
Chinese legal professionals of European and international law and
would help European professionals, academics and students to widen
their knowledge of Chinese law.
He said the EU would contribute 18.2 million euros ($23.5
million) to the school. It'll l be run as a not-for-profit
partnership between a group of leading European and Chinese
The law school is one of the three cooperation projects signed
during EU Commissioner for External relations Benita
Ferrero-Waldner's last visit to Beijing. She and Foreign Minister
Li Zhaoxing launched the negotiations for a new
partnership and cooperation agreement. The others relate to
protection of intellectual property rights and business management
(China Daily February 2, 2007)