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European Observation Room丨European Area Reform Reappears "French-German Axis"

(Summary description)From December 14th to 15th, at the EU’s last summit of the year, in addition to topics such as Britain’s secession from the European Union, refugee sharing, and European defense integration, the British referendum decided to “Brexit” and was repeatedly mentioned again. "France-Germany axis" topic, because the unanimous statements of the leaders of the two countries on the issue of promoting economic reform in the euro zone once again attracted attention.

After the respective French and German general elections ended, China's political transition and reforms were also brought to China's attention. The Chinese academic community made timely reflections on the direction of the EU after the French-German election and Sino-European relations. Recently, it was sponsored by the European Studies Center of Fudan University/Sino-European Humanities Exchange Research Center, the Shanghai European Society, and co-organized by the European Research Institute of the European Society of China and the Shanghai Institute of International Relations. At the "Symposium on the Development of the EU and China-EU Relations after the French-German Election," the participating experts discussed the current status and prospects of the EU's economic, social, political, and diplomatic issues, the impact of the French-German election on the EU, and the prospects for the development of China-EU relations.

Ding Chun, Director of the Center for European Studies at the Fudan University/China-European Humanities Exchange Research Center and Chairperson of the European Union Jean Monet, pointed out that when the "Roman Treaty" was first, Europe was still not peaceful, including the French election. Horror, the difficulty of German cabinet. The rights game between the EU and its member states, the institutional shortcomings in EU governance, the economic short-term recovery momentum is good, and the long-term growth is weak-division and integration, convergence and separation, Europe is in the process of exploring where to go again . In terms of Sino-European relations, bilateral economic and trade relations are both a stable anchor and a clutch. The two sides are in the unity of contradictions and competitions between competition and cooperation.

European Observation Room丨European Area Reform Reappears "French-German Axis"

(Summary description)From December 14th to 15th, at the EU’s last summit of the year, in addition to topics such as Britain’s secession from the European Union, refugee sharing, and European defense integration, the British referendum decided to “Brexit” and was repeatedly mentioned again. "France-Germany axis" topic, because the unanimous statements of the leaders of the two countries on the issue of promoting economic reform in the euro zone once again attracted attention.

After the respective French and German general elections ended, China's political transition and reforms were also brought to China's attention. The Chinese academic community made timely reflections on the direction of the EU after the French-German election and Sino-European relations. Recently, it was sponsored by the European Studies Center of Fudan University/Sino-European Humanities Exchange Research Center, the Shanghai European Society, and co-organized by the European Research Institute of the European Society of China and the Shanghai Institute of International Relations. At the "Symposium on the Development of the EU and China-EU Relations after the French-German Election," the participating experts discussed the current status and prospects of the EU's economic, social, political, and diplomatic issues, the impact of the French-German election on the EU, and the prospects for the development of China-EU relations.

Ding Chun, Director of the Center for European Studies at the Fudan University/China-European Humanities Exchange Research Center and Chairperson of the European Union Jean Monet, pointed out that when the "Roman Treaty" was first, Europe was still not peaceful, including the French election. Horror, the difficulty of German cabinet. The rights game between the EU and its member states, the institutional shortcomings in EU governance, the economic short-term recovery momentum is good, and the long-term growth is weak-division and integration, convergence and separation, Europe is in the process of exploring where to go again . In terms of Sino-European relations, bilateral economic and trade relations are both a stable anchor and a clutch. The two sides are in the unity of contradictions and competitions between competition and cooperation.

Information

From December 14th to 15th, at the EU’s last summit of the year, in addition to topics such as Britain’s secession from the European Union, refugee sharing, and European defense integration, the British referendum decided to “Brexit” and was repeatedly mentioned again. "France-Germany axis" topic, because the unanimous statements of the leaders of the two countries on the issue of promoting economic reform in the euro zone once again attracted attention.

 

After the respective French and German general elections ended, China's political transition and reforms were also brought to China's attention. The Chinese academic community made timely reflections on the direction of the EU after the French-German election and Sino-European relations. Recently, it was sponsored by the European Studies Center of Fudan University/Sino-European Humanities Exchange Research Center, the Shanghai European Society, and co-organized by the European Research Institute of the European Society of China and the Shanghai Institute of International Relations. At the "Symposium on the Development of the EU and China-EU Relations after the French-German Election," the participating experts discussed the current status and prospects of the EU's economic, social, political, and diplomatic issues, the impact of the French-German election on the EU, and the prospects for the development of China-EU relations.

 

Ding Chun, Director of the Center for European Studies at the Fudan University/China-European Humanities Exchange Research Center and Chairperson of the European Union Jean Monet, pointed out that when the "Roman Treaty" was first, Europe was still not peaceful, including the French election. Horror, the difficulty of German cabinet. The rights game between the EU and its member states, the institutional shortcomings in EU governance, the economic short-term recovery momentum is good, and the long-term growth is weak-division and integration, convergence and separation, Europe is in the process of exploring where to go again . In terms of Sino-European relations, bilateral economic and trade relations are both a stable anchor and a clutch. The two sides are in the unity of contradictions and competitions between competition and cooperation.

 

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On December 15, in Brussels, the capital of Belgium, French President Macron (left) and German Chancellor Angela Merkel attended a press conference.

 

Eurozone reform depends on France and Germany to compromise

 

On December 6, the European Commission issued a draft reform plan for the euro zone, proposing to transform the euro zone bailout fund into a European monetary fund from 2019; it is proposed to set up the euro zone economy and finance minister from November 2019; Establish integrated tools in the budget to help non-eurozone countries move closer to the euro.

 

These reforms aim to increase the EU’s ability to withstand crises, build a more resilient economy, and reduce economic differences between countries, and also partially echo the reform proposals put forward by French President Macron.

 

Macron put forward a series of proposals to reshape the European Union in September this year. However, the euro zone reform plan has reached an impasse due to differences within the European Union. The euro zone economic powers such as Germany and the Netherlands believe that the reform plan means taking risks together with other heavily indebted country partners such as Spain, Italy, and Greece, and thus retain their reservations. At this EU summit, German Chancellor Angela Merkel gave Macron a more affirmative answer, "It is time to push forward the reform of the euro." The single currency is more favorable in the case of a high debt crisis.

 

Merkel and Macron said at a joint press conference on the 15th that Germany and France will reach a "common position" on the euro zone reform plan by March next year. Macron said he also hopes that by June next year, the 19 member states of the euro zone will reach a "road map" for euro zone reform.

 

At this summit, although no concrete results have been produced on the euro zone reform plan, it will inevitably become the focus of EU discussions in the coming months.

 

Zhang Ji (director of the Sino-Foreign Humanities Exchange Research Center of Fudan University and deputy director of the French Research Center): Rejuvenating France’s leadership relies on French-German cooperation, but it is necessary to change the pattern of “strong virtue and weak law” in the French-German cooperation. It's already a bit eager to try. The German cabinet negotiations have not been completed, and Macron just took this opportunity to make a little change to the situation of "strengthening the law and weakening the law." This is the side of Macron's European policy; the other side of Macron's European policy is to respond to the needs of the people and guarantee a Europe, which can provide protection, protects the European people in terms of safety, economy and value, especially the middle class and working class whose interests have been damaged. To achieve this goal, Macron’s policy framework includes strengthening the EU’s diplomatic and military capabilities, enhancing the EU’s efficiency in responding to large-scale refugees, revitalizing the European economy, and deepening the euro’s regional integration.

 

In the past, Merkel and Macron's new government generally cooperated, and now it depends on the formation of the German cabinet. The highlight of the French-German cooperation is in the defense and security fields, and the related disputes are relatively small; but there are still many differences in the economic field. There are some differences between France and Germany in terms of deepening the integration of the euro area. Macron emphasizes the risk sharing in the euro area, as well as a common budget and strengthening joint investment to stimulate economic growth.

 

Wang Shuo (Deputy Director of the European Institute of China Institute of Modern International Relations): For Macron, European construction is tied to his domestic economic reform and construction. He knows that France’s current economy is very tolerant of the euro area and the European Union, and Macron has always believed that after the establishment of the euro area, Germany has received the largest dividend, and France has not received the largest dividend. Macron believes that if such a trend continues, the euro zone will collapse. This is for Merkel. For Merkel, she also knows that she needs to change. The compromise between France and Germany is not a compromise between the two countries, but a compromise between France and Germany for the EU’s development prospects.

 

Hu Chunchun (Deputy Director of the German Research Center of Tongji University): In terms of the in-depth reform of the European Union, it is now obvious that Macron is a little bit forward on the core issues of France and Germany, competing for the leadership of EU reform and development. If Macron’s so-called establishment of a common Ministry of Finance in the Eurozone, and a common fiscal policy, and the Minister of Finance should be put on the issue of personnel selection, you can immediately see how much Merkel will face. difficult. Whether the future finance minister of the EU is French or German. Behind the two fiscal cultures is the development experience accumulated in the development history of the two nation-states.

 

Dai Qixiu (Professor at the School of International Studies, Shanghai International Studies University, researcher at the European Union Research Center, deputy secretary-general of the European Society of Shanghai): Macron’s most important diplomatic appeal is to reshape European leadership, both in economic issues and security. Germany is also very clear about this and recognizes it.

 

It is no doubt that France and Germany continue to play a cooperative leadership role, but it involves the question of how to balance the cooperation between the two countries in the political and economic fields. Specifically, due to the sustained development of Germany and the sluggishness of France in recent years, the balance between prosperity and decline has been broken. France takes the reform of the euro area, especially the unification of laws, as the priority of reform; while Germany is eager to promote the field of common security and defense. How to balance such problems needs to be blended in, not the goal problem is the path problem.

 

I think Germany will make some compromises, and the euro zone reform can still be promoted when it does not involve the topic of debt sharing.

 

The Influence of French-German Factors on China-EU Relations

 

Zhang Ming, head of the Chinese mission to the European Union, pointed out last month that when he stressed the "Four Opportunities" facing the development of China-EU relations, the EU hopes to promote a reform package after the German-French election this year. If China wants to resolve the main contradiction of insufficient and uneven development, the key lies in reform. Therefore, both sides can use the opportunities of a new round of technology and industrial revolution to increase investment in innovation, and they can also cultivate new growth points in the fields of digital economy and green development. .

 

From the identification of decision-makers to specific business promotion, the closeness of China-EU economic cooperation is self-evident. However, there are still noises under this trend, including France, Germany as the representative, the prudent attitude towards the entry of overseas assets, and the doubtful attitude of the Chinese economic system.

 

Long Jing (Deputy Director of the European Research Center of the Shanghai Institute of International Studies): The next 2-3 years may be a crucial moment for adjustment within the EU. On the one hand, he will negotiate with the United Kingdom on "Brexit" and at the same time initiate the above-mentioned reforms. The EU will become more internal than outreach. Under such a background, the EU may maintain a balanced and healthy development with major external partnerships, rather than substantively intervene in some international issues beyond its reach. In terms of China-EU relations, the EU and major member states are unlikely to infringe on China’s core interests on sensitive issues, and will strengthen cooperation with China in counter-terrorism.

 

However, on the other hand, many of the EU reforms will involve further concessions on the sovereignty of member countries in the financial field, which may result in more stringent EU financial standards and investment standards, and may result in higher investment in China’s investment in Europe. barrier. After the start of the "multi-speed Europe" development, the EU may step up its emphasis on unity and integration within the EU, and further develop various policy tools under its integration policy to appease the new member states of Central and Eastern Europe. For a cooperative mechanism like "16+1", the reforming EU may show greater sensitivity, even precautionary sentiment. It may trigger a rise in criticism of China's European policy. Some countries in Central and Eastern Europe, even some small and medium-sized EU countries like Austria, their willingness to cooperate with economic forces outside the EU will not only weaken but may rise further. This method is used to combat the relatively marginalities within the EU These countries may increase their support and participation in China's "Belt and Road Initiative" to leverage China's economic and trade investment and infrastructure cooperation to promote the implementation of their own development strategies.

 

Luo Changyuan (Professor, Center for European Studies, Fudan University, Deputy Director, Institute of World Economics): From a trade perspective, we can observe two facts. On the one hand, China’s trade with the EU accounts for the EU’s total trade The status is becoming more and more important, but on the other hand, the trade between the EU countries is relatively squeezed, and its share is getting smaller and smaller.

 

When Chinese imports increase, the weakening effect on trade within the EU countries is most pronounced. Although China's trade exports have a significant weakening effect on US trade, they are relatively smaller. Compared with India, India’s export of commodities to the EU is actually contrary to China’s law. When India’s trade volume with EU countries is larger, the internal trade of EU countries will also increase. Trade between India and the EU To some extent, they have strengthened their regional integration. Our preliminary estimate may be related to the industrial structure of trade or some laws at the product level.

 

Against such a background, some of the biggest EU countries such as Germany and France have raised concerns about trade between China and the EU. EU countries' attitude towards China's trade is actually divided into two factions: one faction can be attributed to France, Germany, Italy and other core countries. Germany and France account for a very large share of trade among EU countries, and there are also EU organizations. A stronger voice, in fact, hopes to reduce trade with China and promote regional integration; other marginalized countries, such as Greece and Portugal, are opposed to their plans and hope to establish bilateral trade and exchanges with China. To get some of their benefits.

 

Xin Hua (Executive Deputy Director of the European Studies Center of Shanghai International Studies University and Director of the Academic Research Department of the Shanghai European Society): I will talk about the basic structure and long-term trends of China-EU economic relations with the new trend of the European Union’s defensive economic policy towards China. Before the end of 2015, the main influencing factor of the EU’s defensive trade and investment policy decisions on China was the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP) issued by the Obama administration. In 2016, the EU’s decision on China’s defensive trade and investment policy was actually accompanied by the EU’s determination of China’s market economy status. Under such a background, in March 2016, the European Commission issued a more detailed, A series of proposals for various punitive measures against anti-dumping and countervailing measures for products imported from non-EU countries. In 2017, due to the impact of Britain's "Brexit" elections and the elections of the three countries of the Netherlands, France and Germany, the European Union is eager to strengthen its internal cohesion. He hopes to strengthen economic growth and ensure the protection of the domestic market for the domestic market and industrial sectors. Under this situation, the EU has conducted a survey on the "market distortion" situation and re-raised the concept of globalization. In September this year, a series of national conditions documents were issued.

 

However, the current defensive economic policy of the EU against China still shows a strong two-sidedness, which is reflected in three points: First, the EU still nominally respects the WTO-led international multilateral trading system and rules system, and still affirms globalization, However, the European Union is reflecting on globalization, and has put forward some negative and negative views. It believes that globalization needs to be constrained. If it is not constrained, the EU will be a loser in globalization, and it will be cheaper for the United States and China. Secondly, on the one hand, China still emphasizes the importance of China to the European economy, but within the EU, the decision to consider China’s economic opposition to and competition with Europe has become increasingly important. Third, on the one hand, China is still affirmed as a strategic partner of Europe and has important strategic value to the world; on the other hand, the EU is fundamentally suspicious of China’s basic economic system, which has ideological factors. . Moreover, the EU's defensive economic policy towards China may develop stronger and stronger in these three aspects.

 

Wu Yikang (Professor of the European Research Center of the Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences, Honorary President of the Shanghai European Society): The French-German axis is sufficient to play a role, because the complementarity is very good. I judge that Merkel may not be able to form a strong government this time, which is more likely to contribute to the balance between France and Germany, which should have a positive side for European integration. Europe has few actual conflicts of interest for China, but as China’s power grows stronger, trade, investment, and even the influence of China’s political system are expanding.

 

 

 

Europe is a very important and even stubborn base of Western ideology. At present, they believe in pragmatism within Europe. When Europe's economy is difficult, pragmatism and pragmatism help economic recovery. They will accept and want to develop more relations with China to fill the gaps in Europe. But we should not ignore or carelessly address ideological issues. On the international stage, we can pay special attention to the relationship with Europe, and the tone should not be too high. The development of China-EU relations may not only be reflected in actual frictions in the future, but may even appear in ideology and values.

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