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EU trade chief says efforts to ratify China deal are ‘on hold’ – POLITICO

The European Commission has temporarily suspended efforts to ratify the investment deal with China, EU Trade Commissioner Valdis Dombrovskis told Agence France-Presse on Tuesday.

“We have … for the moment suspended some political awareness efforts on the part of the Commission, as it is clear that in the current situation, with the EU sanctions against China and the Chinese counter-sanctions, there are understood against members of the European Parliament, the environment is not conducive to the ratification of the agreement, ”Dombrovskis told the French news agency.

The deal was already on ice. Due to sanctions imposed by Beijing on European officials and academics, members of the European Parliament have vowed never to ratify it. The European Commission has traditionally been very defensive of the deal, agreed in principle at the end of last year, but Dombrovskis’ remarks are the clearest sign to date that the executive is also aware of the rapidly deteriorating political climate over the past four months. , and backs down despite strong German pressure to close the deal.

Asked about the continuation of the deal, her spokesperson said that technical aspects such as legal clean-up are still underway but, on political ratification, remarked: “We are not there yet. “.

“The agreement must now be legally revised and translated before it can be presented for adoption and ratification. However, the process of ratifying the [investment agreement] cannot be separated from the evolving dynamics of the larger EU-China relationship, ”she said.

“In this context, the Chinese retaliatory sanctions targeting members of the European Parliament and an entire parliamentary committee are unacceptable and regrettable. [agreement’s] ratification will depend on how the situation develops, ”she added.

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