“The Belt and Road Initiative should be mutually beneficial for EU and China and every participating country”, Vice-President Papadimoulis of the European Parliament underscores from European Business Summit 2018

EBS 2018 - Dimitrios Papadimoulis Vice-President European Parliament

The Vice-President of the European Parliament, Mr Dimitrios Papadimoulis, during his speech on Belt and Road Initiative at the European Business Summit 2018 (The European Sting, 2018)

Following Ambassador Zhang’s opening speech at the European Business Summit’s roundtable “Visions and Actions: China-EU Dialogue on the Belt and Road Initiative”, The Vice-President of the European Parliament, Mr Dimitrios Papadimoulis, took the floor to express the European Parliament’s genuine view of the BRI. The European Sting was at the Egmont Palace, where the European Business Summit 2018 was taking place, and covered his thoughtful speech:

Ladies and gentlemen,

Allow me to thank you for the invitation to address today this very important conference organised by the Mission of China to the EU and the European Business Summit, which is a great occasion to gather politicians, businessmen and experts to discuss and enhance in a concrete way the dialogue between EU and China.

Today’s meeting takes place in a very important moment. EU and China are in the process to further reenforce their bilateral cooperation in a very challenging time for the whole world, regarding sustainable development, trade investments, climate actions but also peace and security. EU and China have made significant progress moving forward with our global partnership since the 19th EU-China Summit last June. I am convinced that it will be beneficial for both sides to strengthen intergovernmental, interparlamentary and people to people contacts and relations as part of our overall comprehensive strategic partnership.

While it is normal that some differences exist, I am convinced that they can be resolved only through dialogue, mutual respect and equity. I would like to stress the importance of our common commitment to implement the 2015 Paris agreement on Climate Change, enhancing our cooperation on energy policies. It is a very challenging moment for the climate change. It is of tantamount importance that EU and China reaffirmed the commitment to deal with it in a sustainable and respectful way.

In a similar way we have to work together also on business matters, working with openness and based on common international rules we can promote prosperity and sustainable and inclusive development for our people. It is important growth to be reflected in the every day life of people, not leave behind segments of the society, especially vulnerable groups. It has to enforce social cohesion, fighting inequalities and marginalization.

There are common challenges that EU and China are facing today and we have to learn from China. We should continue working on the 12 EU-China Business Summit common declaration issues agreed last June. To name few, on fair trade, connectivity, investments and environment protection. Speaking about investments I would like to point out the importance of a MoU signed by the European Investment Fund (EIF) and China’s Silk Road Fund (SRF), which will increase joint investments and will support particularly European SMEs.

The One Belt One Road initiative underlines China’s strong financial engagement in each innovative network-based project design which undoubtedly contributes to a more inclusive global governance. The One Belt One Road initiative should be mutually beneficial for EU and China but also for each country that is participating. I am optimistic that EU and China will formulate common rules and frameworks, including for joint projects in third countries.

Potential synergies between the Initiative and the EU connectivity initiatives are being explored under the China-EU connectivity platform. It can also contribute to economic development and regional stability in Eurasia. Given the geostrategic relevance of this initiative it should used in a multilateral way. It is of the utmost importance to develop synergies and projects in full transparency and with the importance of all stakeholders.

Very valuable and successful parallel frameworks are also in place and we can build upon their achievements, such us the 2018 EU-China tourism year and the 2017 EU-China New Year. It is obvious that a solid ground and a comprehensive partnership already is in place. Important steps have been taken to find win-win solutions in many sectors.

I am convinced that through dialogue, mutual respect and understanding and by working together we can further reinforce our partnership, which will be beneficial for all our respected societies. In the current global system closer cooperation between the EU and China is a one way road, to my understanding.

The challenge is to identify our priorities, to create functional frameworks and platforms of synergies and cooperation among governments and businesses, among public and private sector.

Thank you very much and I wish you the best for the works of the European Business Summit.

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