The impossible? An analysis of the reasons which hinder an EU-China FTA

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The trade relations between the EU and China have nowadays a fundamental importance in the global trade. Why the EU and China cannot reach a free trade agreement? Given the proliferation of FTAs in the contemporary world, and the importance of the EU-China bilateral economic relationship, we try to understand why both parties cannot start negotiations towards a successful conclusion of such an agreement. This paper focuses on the priorities, positions and objectives of the EU first, and China then. The analysis is conducted through the theoretical framework developed by Robert Putnam, the so called “two-level game”, that allows to understand the role of the different stakeholders that contribute to the final choices of the state negotiators. Contrary to the common belief, states are not unitary actors, but their action is determined by an often delicate compromise among all the stakeholders involved. The result of this research shows that an agreement is extremely difficult, if not impossible, since the EU and China have strong positions and divergent priorities, with no willing to compromise. Understanding this problem might be the first starting point for both parties to start a constructive dialogue towards a common solution, in order to solve their problems, and finally develop an effective partnership.

Giovambattista Perrotta | Alber & Geiger – Advocay in Legislation

Giovambattista Perrotta has a background in European law and international relations. He joins Alber & Geiger with experience from the European External Action Service where he worked on development and economic cooperation in South Asian countries. Earlier, he worked at the Embassy of Afghanistan in Tokyo focusing on communications and public relations. Prior to that, Giovanni worked as an Academic Assistant at “LUISS” Faculty of Law. Giovanni obtained his LLM at “LUISS” University in Rome, and a Master’s degree in EU International Relations at the College of Europe in Bruges.”