China, the 16+1 format and the EU
The new European Parliamentary Research Service’s report assesses recent developments in 16+1 and Chinese FDI to the region of Central and Eastern Europe. The paper mentions ChinfluenCE as a new initiative dedicated to analyzing the Chinese impact in the region.
Since the establishment of 16+1 (16 Central and Eastern European countries, including 11 EU member states and 5 Western Balkan countries, and China) there has been many discussions about the influence of such format on EU-China relations and EU’s internal political dynamics.
In the format China values especially the geostrategic location of the countries involved as they constitute a crucial transit corridor for its Belt and Road initiative (BRI). However the 16+1 format is an attractive tool not only for China hoping that EU members within CEECs will support Chinese interests at EU level, but also for the CEECs as they might benefit from the Chinese investment within the BRI. Knowing this, EU’s main concerns are the potential risks of a reversal of the EU’s reform agenda in the Western Balkans and in case of the 11 EU member states the threat to EU’s political unity.
To download the whole paper, please visit this link.