Europe's and China's interests are best served by a stable multipolar world, which makes them potential partners. China's interests are best served by a multipolar world, displacing American hegemony, boosting China's global role and influence and dismissing the global fear of China's rise. Chinese and European interests partly overlap, but there are major differences. There are also major barriers for the EU to serve as a credible model for China in pursuing multilateral geopolitics. The first is that the European concept of multilateralism differs from the Chinese idea of multipolarity. The second is that multilateralism (or rather a multipolar geopolitical strategy) for China serves nationalistic objectives which by definition cannot be the case for the EU. The third reason is the EU's fragmented diplomatic and geopolitical profile which lacks the convincing edge. Therefore while the EU is a reasonably adequate partner for China in multilateral actions it is not an ideal model for present day China because of different interpretation of national sovereignty as well as multilateralism, and also because of the EU's relative weakness in global security affairs.
Key words: EU-China relations, multipolar world order, multilateralism