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Through the 2015 EU - China High Level Economic and Trade Dialogue, a common willingness was expressed on setting up detailed discussions on these topics of mutual concern.
Following up on this decision, in June 2016 the European Commission launched a new project to set up a non-governmental dialogue with China. The European Commission's Directorate-General CONNECT and the Chinese Authorities agreed to host a series of discussions between designated independent personalities from various backgrounds and with diverse profiles and expertise in the EU and/or China to exchange on, analyse and study the success factors for the development of the digital economy as well as the economic aspects of cybersecurity in China and in the EU.
This will be done during a series of meetings hosted by the European Commission and the Chinese authorities respectively in Brussels and Beijing in the course of 2016 and early 2017.
The main novelty of this initiative lies in creating a new form of dialogue between independent experts from academia, think tanks, entrepreneurial world, from industry or standardisation bodies, in which the European Commission will be playing the role of observer. As part of this project this dialogue should lead to a report by the independent participants on the EU side that will be presented to Mr G. Oettinger, European Commissioner for the Digital Economy and Society.
Background: This series of discussion launched between the EU and China is funded by the Partnership Instrument of the Service for Foreign Policy Instruments (FPI) of the European Commission. It is one of the funding instruments that enable the EU to take part in shaping global change and promote its core values. It has global reach with an emphasis on partner countries of strategic interest to the EU such as China.