Lithuania’s Foreign Minister Gabrielius Landsbergis: If we drop the EU27-China format, we will lose on so many fronts
On 3 September, during a discussion on the EU’s relations with China at an informal meeting of EU foreign affairs ministers (Gymnich), the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Lithuania Gabrielius Landsbergis informed his counterparts about the recent political, diplomatic and public relations pressures at bilateral level from Beijing and came up with proposals regarding the formats for expanding the EU's ties with China, as well as the necessary instruments.
Landsbergis stressed that the EU must adhere to its values and principles. According to Lithuania's Foreign Minister, the EU must strengthen its economic resilience, reduce dependence on Chinese trade and, following a proposal from the European Commission, immediately adopt the EU anti-coercion instrument.
“There is a need for a strategic assessment of relations with China. Individual member states’ agendas towards China do not strengthen the European Union’s agenda. If we act on our own and drop the EU27 format, we will lose on so many fronts," said Landsbergis, who also stressed that Lithuania saw the 27+ 1 format as the only possibility for a dialogue on an equal footing with Beijing.
According to the Foreign Minister, the EU must also coordinate China’s policy with the like-minded in the Indo-Pacific region and beyond, as well as strengthen the EU-NATO cooperation on China policy issues.