The EU's policy towards the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (SAR) was first set out in a Communication: The European Union and Hong Kong Beyond 1997 issued in the context of the handover to Chinese sovereignty. It underlined the importance of smooth implementation of the ‘one country, two systems’ principle. This communication was followed by the 2006 communication " The European Union, Hong Kong and Macao: possibilities for cooperation 2007-2013" and set out ways in which the EU could contribute to Hong Kong’s political and economic development.
The European Commission issues annual reports on developments in the Hong Kong SAR, the most recent of which was in April 2008.
There is substantial and growing cooperation, both direct and indirect, as Hong Kong continues to provide a platform for deepening cooperation with mainland China. In its 2006 Report, the Commission set a number of challenging objectives for moving forward cooperation in 7 key areas: trade and customs, finance, people to people links (including academia), transport, environment, health, food safety.
Contacts take place at all levels. President Barroso and Hong Kong Chief Executive Donald Tsang met in Brussels on 7 November 2006 ( joint press statement ).
Given its status as a separate customs territory, as stated in China’s Basic Law, Hong Kong continues to be treated by the EU as a separate entity for trade policy purposes.
Various agreements have also been signed with Hong Kong.