Start / Analys / National Perspectives on Europe’s De-risking from China

A report by the European Think-tank Network on China (ETNC).

Lead editors: Patrik Andersson, Frida Lindberg

Editorial working group: Bernhard Bartsch, Una Aleksandra Bērziņa-Čerenkova, Andreea Brinza, Lucas Erlbacher, Miguel Otero-Iglesias, John Seaman, Plamen Tonchev, Mariana Trifonova



The “de-risking” of relations with China has become an organizing principle for the European Union (EU) since it was first put forward by President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen in March 2023. As is often the case with the EU, however, what is said in Brussels is not always understood in the same way across the continent. This report of the European Think-tank Network on China (ETNC) analyses how 21 EU member states and the United Kingdom view de-risking from a national context. Each chapter is written by China experts who broadly set out to address the same set of questions with respect to their own country:

• What is the country’s standpoint on the EU’s approach to de-risking?

• Which China-related risks is that country most concerned about?

• Has the country’s standpoint on de-risking resulted in any concrete measures?

• How does that standpoint affect the country’s views on or approach to China?

Sweden: A difficult balancing act between openness and de-risking

Changes in the global security situation have led Sweden to align itself with the European Commission on economic and security relations with China. Sweden-China relations have stabilised to some extent following a period of deteriorating bilateral relations. However, China has been identified as a security threat by the Swedish security authorities, notably linked to unauthorised information and technology transfer. China’s dominance in certain supply chains creates a vulnerability for Sweden, as a small but advanced economy. To address these risks, Sweden has enacted a comprehensive Foreign Direct Investment Screening Act and restricted Chinese investment in its 5G deployment.

About ETNC

The European Think-tank Network on China (ETNC) is a gathering of China experts from a
selection of leading European research institutes. It is devoted to the independent
policy-oriented study of Chinese foreign policy and relations between China and European
countries as well as China and the EU.

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