In spite of a recent slowdown, foreign direct investment from rising China into Europe has been growing exponentially over the past decade. It ranges from manufacturing, energy, utilities and transport, to financial services, real estate and sports and has been expanding from acquisitions of European firms to greenfield and portfolio investment. The perceived challenges posed by these investments has led to increasing political and media attention, including calls for EU vetting and regulation of acquisitions.
Academic research on the phenomenon is still lagging behind these developments. In light of this knowledge gap and policy needs and by bringing together the researchers from across Europe, the aim of the China in Europe Research Network (CHERN) is to: (a) pool current and stimulate further research on China’s deepening economic engagements with Europe; (b) develop an interdisciplinary, holistic, cross-sectoral and pan-European understanding of the variegated impacts and strategies associated with these engagements; (c) comprehend the likely political and geo-political consequences of these; and (d) generate input on the policy implications of these issues involving relevant agencies from the EU, member countries, business, trade unions and other interested parties.
CHERN is an EU-financed network under the “Cost Action” funding scheme. The launch of the network was in November 2019.
The core of CHERN’s work lies in five working groups covering the following issues: (a) infrastructure; (b) high technology and innovation; (c) labor and migration; (d) financial services; and (e) policy outreach.
As Chairman of Working Group II “High technology and innovation”, I am responsible for coordinating the research on this subject. The working group is in its constitutive phase. More information on the working group’s and the whole network’s activities will follow.
I am also a member of the network's Core Group.