EU Report Reveals Increased National Security Focus in Macao

European Commission

The European Commission and the High Representative have today adopted their 24th annual report to the European Parliament and the Council on political and economic developments in the Macao Special Administrative Region. This report covers developments in 2023.

The report illustrates the continuously increasing focus on national security, which risks weakening fundamental freedoms in Macao, eroding the 'one country, two systems' principle and Macao's usually high degree of autonomy.

In 2023, Macao adopted several new laws implementing the political doctrine of 'patriots ruling Macao'. For instance. the amendment to the National Security Law of 2009, adopted in May, expands the scope of the law. The Law on the Protection of State Secrets, an extension of the amended National Security Law, was adopted in December and provides the Chief Executive of Macao with additional powers. In addition, the Legislative Assembly passed amendments to the laws governing elections introducing new vetting mechanisms for candidates standing in the elections for the Chief Executive, the Chief Executive Election Committee and the Legislative Assembly.

In 2023, the EU remained Macao's largest trading partner in goods, ahead of mainland China. The EU was Macao's fourth largest source of foreign direct investment, accounting 5.5% of the total foreign direct investment stock. Macao's economy grew by 77.8% in the first three quarters of 2023 but has not yet recovered to pre-COVID-19 levels. Growth was chiefly enabled by the end of the strict COVID-19 restrictions and the resulting return of tourists.


Since the handover of Macao to the People's Republic of China in 1999, the EU and its Member States have been closely following political and economic developments in the Macao Special Administrative Region (SAR) under the 'one country, two systems' principle.

In line with the commitment given to the European Parliament in 1999, the European Commission and the High Representative issue an annual report on political and economic developments in Macao. This is the 24th report, covering developments in 2023.

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