Science, Technology and Environment
Research, Environment and Energy are three intertwined areas which will play an essential role in the shaping of future EU-China relations.
China and Europe have a long-standing and fruitful cooperation in the area of Science & Technology, through the signing of cooperation agreement in 1998. The agreement was renewed in 2004 and is subject to be renewed again in 2009 based on an ongoing review by independent experts. More recently, China's government has announced its will to transform China into an innovation-based economy and important financial resources have already been allocated to this effort along the last years, positioning China's national expenditure in R&D second in the world. Meanwhile, the EU has become the first world scientific power in terms of scientific publications. Therefore, EU-China Science & Technology cooperation is today a matter of common interest.
Environment is currently becoming one of the forefront dialogues in EU-China relationships, thanks to the new importance the Chinese authorities are giving to environmental aspects in China’s future development model. Due to the political lead the Commission has taken in this area on the international arena, Beijing clearly sees in the European Union a strong and reliable partner for achieving a sustainable development.
Finally, the area of Energy cooperation has been up in the political agenda of both the EU and China for some years now. China faces phenomenal challenges to cope with a booming energy demand and coal, one of the most polluting energy sources, plays a major role in its strategy. Beijing is also conscious of the importance to develop a more environment-friendly energy mix and regards the European Union as a privileged partner, one which is sharing the same concerns and facing similar problems.