Nov 8 2021

Discussion between Bertram Lang and Reinhard Bütikofer on the Role of Civil Society in European China Policy

Policy consultation and direct public interaction with political decision makers play an important role in foregrounding the social relevance of Chinese and Asian Studies. It is for this reason that the IZO's Academic Coordinator, Bertram Lang, makes regular contributions to policy journals and to studies conducted by NGOs and public institutions.

When a controversial passage about non-profit organisations in the draft EU-China investment agreement became public in March 2021, the Greens/EFA group in the European Parliament commissioned Bertram Lang to submit a study on the role of civil society in Europe's policy on China. In this study Mr Lang takes a critical look at the position of the European Commission and the European member states and makes specific suggestions on how expert knowledge in civil societies might be better integrated into European foreign and trade policy, so as to emphasize the European interest in an international order endorsed by a multiplicity of actors and to stress European values.

In a webinar chaired by Christina Sadeler on 8 December 2021, Bertram Lang and Reinhard Bütikofer, Member of the European Parliament and China expert of the Green Party, discussed the study's central arguments as well as options for future action with regard to the investment agreement which is currently on halt.

Addendum: The webinar is now freely accessible here.

Download link to the study: