Commenting on the upcoming publication of the Commission’s proposal on the anti-coercion instrument, Reinhard Bütikofer, Foreign Policy Coordinator of the Greens/EFA Group in the European Parliament and Chair of the China Delegation, said:
“If any proof was needed that the EU needs an effective instrument to protect itself against economic coercion by third countries, China’s blackmailing pressure on Lithuania has now provided it. Therefore, it is high time for the European Commission to present its proposal for such a protective instrument against economic coercion. While Lithuania is the least dependent on China trade of all EU member states, the EU cannot accept China’s use of economic harassment because Beijing wants to force political compliance.
The power of the new instrument will hinge on the way in which it is constructed. To be effective, it must not allow the veto of a single government to block the action. It is well known that Hungary’s Prime Minister Orbán, for example, has used his veto to give China influence over EU policy on various occasions. There is a great willingness in the European Parliament to work constructively and quickly to make the new anti-coercion instrument a reality. Incidentally, it would not only be suitable for self-defense against China. It would also allow an adequate response to coercive economic measures from other sides.”