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Parliamentary questions
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29 November 2019
Answer given by Ms Malmström
on behalf of the European Commission
Question reference: E-002642/2019

The Joint Communication ‘EU-China — a strategic outlook <QT.END> ” </QT.END>(1) points out China`s extensive restrictions on access to its markets, including on investment and public procurement. It underlines the need for a more assertive, more integrated and united EU approach towards China, and puts forward concrete actions to rebalance the economic relationship.

The proposed actions include, among others, negotiations on a Comprehensive Agreement on Investment, the reform of the World Trade Organisation, adoption of the International Procurement Instrument, implementation of the regulation on foreign direct investment screening, addressing the distortive effects of foreign subsidies in the internal market, and a guidance on the participation of third country bidders and goods in the EU procurement market (which the Commission issued in July 2019). In addition, the Commission is engaged in plurilateral discussions regarding China’s accession to the WTO Government Procurement Agreement (GPA).

The acquisition of the Vossloh Locomotives subsidiary by the CRRC is undergoing a merger review by the German competition authority. Even if already known at the time, the acquisition would not have affected the Commission’s assessment of the Siemens/Alstom merger, because the Vossloh business focuses on locomotives, a low-end rolling stock market on which the Commission raised no objection in the assessment of the Siemens/Alstom merger.

The acquisition in question is also subject to national security review by the German authorities. As to the EU Regulation on foreign direct investment screening, it will be applicable as of 11 October 2020, and will enable the Commission to assess if a specific foreign investment poses risks to security or public order within the Union.

The Commission will continue raising with China the EU’s concerns about the lack of reciprocity and level playing field, including at the highest level. In parallel, it will continue implementing the actions proposed in the communication.

(1)Joint Communication of the Commission and High Representative Vice-President Mogherini, published on 12 March 2019 https://ec.europa.eu/commission/sites/beta-political/files/communication-eu-china-a-strategic-outlook.pdf
Last updated: 29 November 2019Legal notice