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The influence of the Belt and Road Initiative in Europe

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Kaufmann, E 


This article contributes to the growing body of literature aiming to understand the wide-ranging implications of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) by displaying the variety of contractual, formal and informal arrangements that China has entered with European states on a bilateral basis. Almost all European states have entered into one or another form of formal cooperation under the disguise of the BRI. In general, Eastern European states tend to have the highest degree of formal cooperation as official BRI-Members, whereas the picture is more diverse in the North-West of Europe. Cooperation ranges from investment-based infrastructure projects, to joint financial investments as well as projects in education or health. This complicated puzzle of arrangements ultimately favours China’s influence and will change Europe’s interconnectedness with China beyond transport connectivity.



4407 Policy and Administration, 44 Human Society

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Regional Studies, Regional Science

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Informa UK Limited


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The authors thank the Faculty of Spatial Planning of TU Dortmund for funding the Miniproject “Towards an Asianisation of European Cooperation and Planning? - Evidence from the Belt and Road Initiative” while Franziska Sielker was Interim Head of the Chair of “International Planning Studies”. This articles partly builds on research undertaken in the context of this Miniproject. The authors further thank the Department of Land Economy at the University of Cambridge for funding a research visit of Elisabeth Kaufmann at the University of Cambridge in March 2020.