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USA & EU Barcelona Meeting | US - EU Alignment and Divergence on China Policy

Thursday February 22, 2024, from 16:30 to 20:15
Auditori La Pedrera. C/ de Provença, 261, 265, Eixample, 08008 Barcelona

The Institut d’Estudis Nord-americans (IEN) Foundation in collaboration with the US General Consulate and the Representation of the European Commission in BarcelonaIBEI and UOC present the third edition of the annual USA & EU Barcelona Meeting which will discuss to what extent are the Europeans and Americans converging or diverging in their policies toward the People's Republic of China in this era of strategic competition?

📸 Check the pictures of the event

US - EU Alignment and Divergence on China Policy

To what extent are the Europeans and Americans converging or diverging in their policies toward the People’s Republic of China in this era of strategic competition?

Beijing has made numerous security and economic decisions in recent years that are worrisome and exacerbating tensions with the West. Despite the increasing need to work with China to effectively address any number of global issues – especially climate change – it is difficult to find much common ground, and there is little expectation things will noticeably improve any time soon. Indeed, China and the West seem destined to grow apart. Meanwhile, there remain important differences in how the EU and US approach and prioritize security and trade issues in their dealings with China.

This seminar will convene leading experts and policymakers to explore the significant changes in China’s security and economic landscape, discuss how EU and US policies are responding to these developments, and offer insights and consider policy proposals to improve relations.

📍 Venue: Auditori de La Pedrera (C/ de Provença, 261, 265, Eixample, 08008 Barcelona). Google Maps

🔊 Languages: Simultaneous interpretation will be included.

▶️ The event will be streamed.


16.30 – 17.00h. Registration for attendees

17.00h. Event Introduction. Opening Speakers:

  • Dr Joan F. Corona, President, Institute of North American Studies
  • Mr. Manuel Szapiro, Head of Representation in Barcelona, European Commission
  • Ms. Katie Stana, Consul General, Consulate General of the United States in Barcelona
  • Mr. Pierre-Emmanuel Brusselmans, Consul, Consulate of Belgium in Barcelona

17.10h - PANEL I · Geopolitics

The geopolitical scene, always in a perpetual state of motion, has gone into overdrive in the last few years. The combined impact of the Covid pandemic, the war in Ukraine, conflict in the Middle East, and the rising importance of the Global South, has reshaped the global landscape and how we interpret it. Yet amidst the geopolitical rivalry, there is an urgent need to seek new forms of cooperation to manage common problems. This panel will address the strategic implications of these developments, explore the future dynamics of the EU-US-China triangular relationship, and identify the most likely areas where frictions may lead to conflict and where common interests may lead to cooperation. 


  • Dr. Luis SimónDirector, Research Centre for Security, Diplomacy and Strategy (CSDS), Institute for European Studies at Vrije Universiteit, Brussels
  • Robert DalyDirector, Kissinger Institute on China and the United States, Woodrow Wilson Center for International Scholars
  • Dr. Sarah KirchbergerAcademic Director, Institute for Security Policy, Kiel University

Chair: Dr. Jeffrey Michaels, IEN Senior Fellow in American Foreign Policy and International Security, Institut Barcelona d’Estudis Internacionals (IBEI)

Questions & Answers

Coffee Break

18.50h - PANEL II · Economics

Over the last decades, China’s rise as a global economic superpower has challenged the traditional dominance of the US and EU. In particular, the Belt and Road Initiative has expanded Beijing’s influence in the Global South by investing heavily in infrastructure projects in many regions. But with increasing signs of an economic downturn in China, will the ‘Chinese moment’ last? Will it go the same way as Japan — decades of stagnation following its meteoric economic rise — or should we be thinking in terms of a temporary setback, with the best yet to come? What sorts of economic and trade policies have the EU and US adopted in response to China’s rise, and how might these policies adapt in the coming years, particularly if the Chinese economy stumbles? In addition, what types of developments might radically alter our current assumptions about the future trajectory of economic relations among these three global players?


  • Dr. Mary E. LovelyAnthony M. Solomon Senior Fellow, Peterson Institute for International Economics
  • Dr. Jan KnoerichPolitical Economy and Institutions Senior Lecturer, Lau China Institute
  • Dr. Françoise NicolasSenior Advisor, Center for Asian Studies, Institut Français des Relations Internationals (IFRI)

Chair: Cèlia Cernadas, International affairs reporter. Former correspondent Washington DC, Catalunya Ràdio

Questions & Answers

20.00h - Event Closure

Closing  Remarks

  • Prof. Jacint Jordana, Professor at the Universitat Pompeu Fabra, President at IBEI, and ICREA Academia researcher

Closing Speaker

  • Ms. Meritxell Serret, Minister of Foreign Affairs and European Union at the Government of Catalonia

Academic advisor

Jeffrey Michaels
Jeffrey Michaels
IEN Senior Fellow

In collaboration with:

Supported by: