GAC 2021: Relationship Status China-EU: “It’s Complicated”





Oct 24, 2021


German American Conference 2021 - Relationship Status China-EU: “It’s Complicated”

October 24, 2021, 1:30 PM EST

Amidst time of the global Covid-19 pandemic, pivotal threats through climate changes, and geopolitical dynamics rebalancing power politics, the EU strategy on China tops the agenda of EU politics. On the one hand, China is EU’s second-largest trading partner behind the United States and the EU is China’s largest trading partner. On the other hand, high-level EU officials recently referred to China as a “systemic rival” and called for more aggressive political and economic sanctions as tensions between both sides aroused, especially during the recent pandemic. Further, arising tensions between the vital players USA and China over the last years lead to a political love-hate triangle creating additional complexity for the EU on several fronts. Together with you, we want to uncover the structure of the “complicated” relationship between China and EU and explore how the result will affect the transatlantic relationship.

The event will begin with a small introductory statement by both speakers, Julia Friedlander (Senior Fellow, Atlantic Council) and Achim Wambach (President, ZEW Mannheim). This will pave the way to a constructive exchange of current challenges and developments affecting the EU’s economics and politics to China.

Similar to the very popular key note events that we have established during prior German American Conferences, we would like to gather questions from the audience in our chat function which will be addressed by our speakers Julia Friedlander and Achim Wambach. We hope to promote a discussion amongst students and professionals from the U.S., Germany and other countries about the national and transatlantic implications of the discussed topics underlying the China-EU relations.


- Professor Achim Wambach has been the president of ZEW – Leibniz-Centre for European Economic research since April 2016. ZEW is one of Europe’s leading research institutes in economics; its mission is to conduct policy-related research and to provide science-based economic policy advice. Achim Wambach has been a member of the German Monopolies Commission since 2014 and served as its chairman from 2016 to September 2020. From 2018 to 2019 he was co-chair of the Commission “Competition Law 4.0” of the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy. He is also a member of the Scientific Advisory Board of the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy, which he chaired 2012-2015. He is a professor of economics at the University of Mannheim. Achim Wambach obtained a PhD in Physics at the University of Oxford and a Master of Science in Economics at the London School of Economics. He completed his habilitation thesis in economics at the University of Munich and was Professor of Economics at the University of Erlangen-Nürnberg before taking on the position of Director of the Institute for Economic Policy (iwp) at the University of Cologne. For the period of 2017-2018 he was chairman of the German Economic Association (Verein für Socialpolitik).

- Julia Friedlander is the C. Boyden Gray senior fellow and deputy director of the Atlantic Council’s GeoEconomics Center. Ms. Friedlander served as senior policy advisor for Europe at the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Terrorism and Financial Intelligence from 2015-2017 and from 2019-20, and as a macroeconomist in the Department of International Affairs. From April 2017 to July 2019, Julia was detailed to the White House as the Director for the European Union, Southern Europe and Economic Affairs at the National Security Council, charged with coordinating U.S. interagency policy on transatlantic relations and the European Union. Before Treasury, she held multiple analytical positions within the Central Intelligence Agency. Julia holds a B.A. in European History from Princeton University and an M.A. from Johns Hopkins SAIS. She spent two years in Berlin on a fellowship from the German Academic Exchange Service working for the German Marshall Fund and DGAP.




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