EU foreign and defence ministers will gather in Luxembourg today to assess the progress of the 2016 EU Global Strategy.
The plan, seeking a common strategy to deal with potential economic and security threats, has faced major challenges since its birth. In particular, the Brussels has struggled to find a joint response to China’s rise as the second-largest economy in the world.
Germany and France worried that their companies will lose their competitive edge to Chinese rivals in higher-value-added industries argue for greater checks on Chinese investment in Europe and greater state support for its industries.
Others, including Britain, the Netherlands and Scandinavian countries, oppose state intervention in their economies.
Others yet, such as Hungary, Greece and Italy, seek to increase economic cooperation with China, particularly through the Belt and Road Initiative.
This division has precluded the formation of a cohesive strategy, which is unlikely to be resolved today or in the medium-term.
Such inertia is good news for Beijing as it expands its influence in Europe but bodes ill for Washington’s containment strategy against China.