Answer – China's market economy status and the 16+1 group – E-000972/2016
Strategic partners like China conduct their relations both with the EU as a whole and bilaterally with individual Member States. Both relationships are complementary within the respective competences of the EU and its Member States. There are occasions when a number of Member States meet together with a strategic partner to discuss issues of common interest.
The 16+1 format is unusual as it is much more elaborate and multi-layered with many regular meetings taking place, including annual leaders’ meetings, between China and 16 Central and Eastern European Countries, of which 11 are EU Member States (Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Hungary, Poland, Romania, Slovakia and Slovenia). The EU attends meetings of the 16+1 format by invitation as an observer.
The Commission continues its assessment of whether, and how, the EU should change the treatment of China in anti-dumping investigations after certain provisions of the Protocol of Accession of China to the World Trade Organisation expire on 11 December 2016. The Commission is, inter alia, in permanent contact with Member States but it goes without saying that the Commission cannot impose on Member States what their position on this matter should be.