Economic and social rights in Europe and in China on the agenda of the 5th China-EU Round Table

Scheduled to take place on 18-19 May 2009 in Tianjin (China), the 5th China-EU Round Table will concentrate participants’ attention on economic & social rights in China and Europe as well as on the recycling industries. Other issues to deal with in the 2-day event will be the protection of rights in a context of crisis, the debate on core labor rights which have to be respected by all states, whether they have ratified the relevant international conventions or not.

Both China and Europe have recently adopted a comprehensive legal framework to promote waste management and green investments. The key question today is how this is translated into the policies and practices in China and in Europe when the whole sector is collapsing because of the crisis.

A special workshop with the Economic and Social Council of Tianjin will be organized to discuss the views of civil society in Europe and in China on the impact of and the responses to the economic and financial. The case of Tianjin, a city in which specific social program workers have been put in place, will be presented.

Before the Round Table, some of the European Economic & Social Commitee (EESC) members will meet several civil society organizations in Hong Kong in particular on the topics of rights both in mainland China and in Hong Kong & Macao and also on the impact of the financial crisis from a civil society perspective.

Following the recommendation of the 9th EU-China Summit (Helsinki, September 2006), the EU-China Civil Society Round Table was jointly established by the EESC and the China Economic and Social Council (CESC), in June 2007 in Beijing.

Bernard Kouchner, French Minister for External Relations, commented on the results of the 3rd Round Table that took place in June 2008 in Beijing: “You can be assured that the work carried out jointly by the EESC and its Chinese counterpart will be taken into account at the next EU-China Summit. I wish to underline the interest and usefulness of this original discussion body which brings together the social and economic partners in EU and China.”


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