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ECIPE Seminar: Explaining the EU’s shift in position on China’s Market Economy Status

September 12 2017
Venue: ECIPE Office, Avenue des Arts 40, 6th floor, 1040 Brussels
Speakers: Edwin Vermulst, Luisa Santos, Philipp Lamprecht, Erik van der Marel
Time: 11:00

This event is fully booked!

In recent years, the position of the European Union (EU) on the issue of whether to grant China market economy status (MES) after 11 December 2016 has shifted. This initially mainly legal issue has increasingly developed economic and political ramifications to which the EU is susceptible. As a result of the economic realities and changes over time, a political debate emerged and it became impossible for the EU to treat the issue as a purely legal and technical one as had initially been the case. The seminar traces the EU’s shift in position on this issue, analysing it from a legal, political and business perspective.

Which factors account for the EU’s shift in position and which actors have developed a major influence on EU policy on this topic?

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Philipp Lamprecht presents his paper on the topic, tracing the EU’s shift of position on China’s market economy status and analysing it from a political economy perspective. Edwin Vermulst and Luisa Santos then assess this development from a legal and business perspective. Erik van der Marel, Senior Economist at ECIPE, will chair the seminar.


Edwin Vermulst has practiced international trade and EU law and policy since 1985 and is a founding partner of the law firm. He has been involved in virtually all major EU trade defence cases since that time and is generally considered to be one of the world’s leading experts on anti-dumping, subsidies and safeguards. Mr. Vermulst is one of the few European lawyers in private practice to have served as a WTO Panelist and has repeatedly acted as counsel to governments involved in WTO dispute settlement proceedings, whether as complainants or respondents, before the Panel and the Appellate Body.

Ms Santos is Director for International Relations at BusinessEurope and a member of the TTIP Advisory Group. She also chairs BusinessEurope’s Brexit Task Force. Her main experience is in the textiles sector, having acted first as the chief representative for the Portuguese textile industry in Brussels, later as Trade and Industry Manager for Euratex – the European Apparel and Textile Confederation. She was also the manager for international partnerships – including a joint venture in India – for a leading Portuguese textiles company. Her academic background is in law and management.

Philipp Lamprecht is a Senior Economist at ECIPE. Before joining ECIPE, he has worked as a full-time Consultant of the London School of Economics (LSE) on a variety of EU projects, including the Trade Sustainability Impact Assessment of the EU-Japan FTA negotiations for the European Commission (DG Trade). He also works as an External Consultant to the OECD Trade and Agriculture Directorate, specifically on a project analyzing trade in services. He holds a PhD from the LSE with a specialization on International Political Economy.