Select Committee on European Union Fortieth Report


Letter from Rt Hon Douglas Alexander MP, Minister for Europe, Foreign and Commonwealth Office to the Chairman

  I am writing to inform your Committee of a Recommendation by the European Commission to open discussions on negotiating a Partnership and Co-operation Framework Agreement with China.

  Relations with China are currently based on the Trade and Economic Agreement, concluded in 1985. The EU-China relationship has developed beyond recognition in recent years and this agreement is no longer adequate for the more dynamic and strategic EU-China partnership which covers a wide range of areas including trade, political dialogue, counter-terrorism and non-proliferation.

  The nature of the Agreement will be determined during the negotiations, but it is envisaged that the result will be a mixed agreement providing a framework for encompassing the full scope of the EU-China relationship. Once the negotiations are completed, we expect a Council Decision endorsing the text of the agreement. I will of course submit this Decision for scrutiny in the usual way.

12 January 2006

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