ETNC, the new ‘European Think-tank Network on China’, devoted to the study of Chinese foreign policy and EU-China relations, is gathering momentum. In April, the second meeting of this innovative grouping, which brings together China experts from a selection of European policy research institutes, took place in Madrid. The EU-Asia Institute was represented by Tamas Matura from ESSCA’s Budapest campus, as well as by the event’s host Miguel Otero Iglesias, senior analyst at the Elcano Royal Institute and associate researcher at ESSCA.
The goal of ETNC is to facilitate regular exchanges among participating researchers for the purpose of deepening the understanding of how Europe as a complex set of actors relates with China and how the latter’s evolution will impact the future of Europe. In particular, when examining the EU-China relationship, the network’s discussions, analyses and eventual recommendations take a decidedly ‘bottom-up’ approach, examining the bilateral relationships between EU member-states and China in order to generate a more complex perspective of the broader EU-China relationship.
Launched on the initiative of the the French Institute of International Relations (Ifri) and the Elcano Royal Institute at Ifri’s office in Brussels on 6 November 2014, the group currently consists of experts from 11 different member-states, as well as observers from EU institutions. The members of ETNC decided to meet in a different capital every 6 months, while the Mercator Institute of China Studies (MERICS) proactively joined Elcano and Ifri in their efforts to move the project forward. The third meeting will therefore be held in Berlin in autumn 2015. In the meantime, the publication of a pan-European report on bilateral Chinese relations is envisaged.
Tamas Matura, ESSCA Budapest.