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Abstract

Concurrent factors are rapidly reshaping our vision of the international economy: the COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on industries and value chains; the growth and growing assertiveness of China; and the United States’ redefinition of its role in the various regions of the world. How do these major factors affect the present and future of the EU and what are the implications for its policies? This paper analyses the main characteristics of European strategic autonomy in the wider context of the economic and social changes observed in international trade and international relations, in order to better understand what strategic autonomy means for European democracy.

EU strategic autonomy imperatives gaining prominence

The European social model seeks to build a working, resilient, and prosperous economy, industry, and internal market. In this respect, achieving strategic autonomy is crucial as it also intersects with sovereignty and defence. The EU’s strategic autonomy policies should not be examined in isolation; they must be seen as a major ingredient of the Conference on the Future of Europe.[1]

Strategic autonomy has progressively gained prominence among the EU’s objectives and policies. As revealed in a 2021 Istituto Affari Internazionali Report, European Strategic autonomy was first used in the context of EU security and defence, and remained a concept that was not explicitly defined until ‘it was elevated as a broader strategic ambition in the 2016 EU Global Strategy, agreed immediately after the Brexit referendum’.[2] The EU Implementation Plan on Security and Defence defined strategic autonomy as‘the EU’s ability to act in security and defence together with partners when it can, alone when it must’.[3]The concept originated in the security and defence domain, but came to be used interchangeably with the notion of European sovereignty in the policy field,‘heralded by French President Emmanuel Macron in 2017 and echoed by former President Jean-Claude Juncker in his 2018 State of the Union address’.[4]

Since then, the COVID-19 crisis has forced the EU to revisit or tweak long-accepted concepts and theories, such as budget equilibrium, the role of competition policy, reluctance to reshape industrial policy, and the benefits of free trade. It can be said that the resulting rebalancing of economic objectives, priorities, and instruments is still a work in progress. Truth be told, those past imperatives had never been fully implemented. The budgets of EU Member States have not always been balanced. And for many years now, achieving free trade in the multilateral arena has not been a shared objective at the world level or even among Western countries. ‘My country first’ slogans are deeply embedded in protectionist economic policies and international exchanges everywhere.[5] The popular sovereignty of European citizens is still under construction as the democratic institutions in place at Union level have not subsumed individual nations’ popular sovereignties. As a result, the EU has gone a long way towards defining its multi-faceted strategic autonomy ambitions.

The most widespread current perceptions of strategic autonomy among European citizens, according to which it is possible to build a discourse around the concept, can be listed as the following ‘policy’ and ‘ability’ objectives:[6]

  • design of EU rules and establishment of its own laws;
  • adherence to a sustainable EU growth and social development plan, relying whenever needed on its own industrial resources, and withstanding negative or hostile initiatives from foreign powers;
  • withstanding economic shocks caused by international crises;
  • successfully conduct of a common EU foreign policy;
  • the creation of an EU’s military power whenever its core interests are at stake.

Because of geographical and cultural differences among EU members, an immediate objection to such policies comes to mind: are the 27 Member States, split as they are on many issues, capable of overcoming their divergences and implementing a coherent strategic autonomy agenda? The brief reply would be that the EU has surprised its detractors during th past years, by its ability to rise, however lopsidedly, to its challenges.

In this respect, the concept of EU strategic autonomy has inspired numerous intertwined initiatives in different strategic areas, as shown in Table 1.

Technology and DigitalizationIndustrial Policy and SustainabilityForeign Affairs and Security
Comprehensive EU legal framework on privacy and the digital market, such as the GDPR and DSA/DMAAttempts at industry ‘re-shoring’  Progress towards common foreign and defence policies
A set of initiatives in strategic industrial sectors such as health, microchips, car batteries, AI, and new technologiesCoordination of green and decarbonated policies, and the Fit for 55 package to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050Establishing a common European agenda for recalibrated EU-China relations
Initiatives to foster EU digitalization and the internal digital market, such as broadband, regulation, competition, industrial policy (5G), and cybersecurity Reassessment of the transatlantic dialogue to find common ground in industry priorities and trade
  Reinforcement of political, economic, and military relationships with Japan, South and Southeast Asia, and Africa, which will also play a significant role in rebalancing international power and trade relations
Table 1: EU strategic autonomy initiatives in different areas.

Considering the overall structure of the Union – composed of different sovereign states with different prerogatives and approaches not necessarily aligned to a common objective – difficulties, shortcomings, and setbacks are unavoidable. However, the historical experience of the path towards European integration encourages us to move ahead and pave the way for potential progress toward a common approach in achieving strategic autonomy.

Interconectedness and EU Strategic Autonomy

Forward-looking strategic autonomy

From the European strategic autonomy perspective,[7] this section considers the future of EU industries and value chains and their implications for the broader context of the relationships with China and the US.

Global value chains (GVCs)

It is a common belief that the economic crisis that the COVID-19 pandemic created raised questions about the impact of GVCs on countries’ gross domestic product (GDP). Three recent studies provide welcome factual evidence in this regard.

Giglioli et al. conclude that ‘contrary to what could be expected on the basis on past crises, during the current Covid-19 pandemic, GVCs may have sheltered countries and firms, contributing to their resilience […], we provide some evidence showing that countries more integrated into international production suffered lower GDP losses’.[8]

An August 2021 Asian Development Bank cross-economy GVC study concludes: ‘Participation in GVCs and the size of the pandemic-related shock to gross domestic product (GDP) appear to have a U-shaped relationship. Greater participation is associated with a larger negative shock in 2020, but the relationship reverses beyond a certain point.’[9] This points to the diversity of outcomes among economies: ‘GVCs clearly have the power to both mitigate and amplify global disruptions’.[10] The interpretation of these discrepancies is straightforward: smaller, less diversified, or protectionist economies suffer more from international trade shocks than do larger diversified economies.

This result is in line with the conclusions of a 2021 OECD study that investigates the impacts of shifting away from GVCs towards a localized regime, concluding that:

<ext> The localized regime, where economies are less interconnected via GVCs, has significantly lower levels of economic activity and lower incomes. Furthermore, the localized regime is also found to be more – not less – vulnerable to shocks, as shown by greater instability of key economic variables such as real GDP.[11] </ext>

Brendan Murray, wrote in August 2021 in Bloomberg: ‘So as companies re-evaluate their supply chains and try to make them more durable, they’re doing things like increasing inventories and adding vendors rather than scrapping GVCs and going full tilt into re-shoring production’.[12] Murray notes that distance is not the main problem posed by the pandemic. He quotes Soren Skou, chief executive of container-shipping line Maersk, as saying:

If you near-shore and you put a factory in Mexico instead of China or you put a factory in Eastern Europe instead of China, that factory can still be hit just as easily in a pandemic scenario as it can if it’s based in China […] so we are not seeing any dramatic move to near-shoring as a consequence of this.[13]

Identifying all the risks facing our economies is beyond our capabilities. Once we have listed and experienced recurring economic crises, pandemics, climate change, natural catastrophes, and political crises, we are left with all ‘those ills we know not of’,[14] the irreducible uncertainty of the future. The public likes to think that government has mastery not only over the present but also the future, but the truth is that we can only explore the future, and have no way of making the unpredictable predictable. Confronting the limits of our knowledge, we only have two imperfect lines of economic policy action against risks: identifying ‘strategic’ industries and diversifying.

Strategic industries and diversification

As there is no general definition of what a ‘strategic’ industry is, let us adopt the European Citizens’ Initiative directive’s definition of critical infrastructure: ‘an asset […] which is essential for the maintenance of vital societal functions, health, safety, security, economic or social well-being of people’.[15] Simplifying the concept amid the ongoing crisis of a global pandemic crisis, we may prioritize the obvious: healthcare products. A close second would be products affected by current shortages (i.e., microchips) or accelerated industrial transitions (such as car batteries). Myopia is a big risk here, as we tend to focus on immediate needs and shortcomings. This risk is mitigated by the EU having poured public money into a whole range of industries, not just the ‘strategic’ ones, partially addressing the issue of diversification that as identified in the studies mentioned above can act as a buffer against crises. Diversification, however, cannot be overly extensive. It has obvious limits in terms of natural resources, competencies, and financing.

However, the size and integration of the EU internal market is a notable competitive advantage. As former European Central Bank president Mario Draghi noted just before the onset of the COVID-19 crisis in February 2019:

Two-thirds of EU countries’ trade is with other Member States, compared with about half for the NAFTA region. Around 50% of euro area cross-border financial holdings are from other euro area countries. Practically speaking, this means that Italy exports more to Spain than to China, and more to Austria than to Russia or Japan. In 2017, German direct investment in Italy was five times higher than that of the United States. […] The EU accounts for 16.5% of global economic output, second only to China, which gives European countries a large domestic market to fall back on in the event of trade disruptions. EU trade makes up 15% of world trade, compared with around 11% for the United States, providing the EU with significant weight in trade negotiations.[16]

The EU’s areas of critical dependence are rather localized. According to a European Commission (EC) report, ‘a bottom-up (quantitative) mapping using external trade flows for more than 5,000 products as its starting point identifies 137 products in the most sensitive ecosystems where the EU can be considered highly dependent on imports from third countries (representing about 6% of the extra-EU import value of goods)’.[17] The report identifies three main foreign sources of EU import value, China (with 50% of total value), Vietnam and Brazil. Product dependency ranges from energy industry related products including raw/processed materials and chemicals, to the health ecosystem, including pharmaceutical ingredients,to products needed to support the sustainable transition and digital transformation. It is noteworthy that the 0.6 per cent of extra-EU import products ‘could be considered as potentially more vulnerable given their possibly low potential for further diversification as well as substitution with EU production’.[18]

Overall, EU strategic autonomy remains imperative for its industry and value chains. To define the core strategic industry set (CSIS) and connected values, the European approach to the redefinition of strategic autonomy should be built around the requirements shown in Table 2.

Vertical RequirementsHorizontal Requirements
Production of ‘essential’ goodsSocial standards
Energy supplyEnvironmental standards
Communication, network infrastructureHealth standards
Table 2: EU strategic autonomy requirements.

CSISs and international trade

The practical implementation of CSISs warrants competitive efficiency. The drawbacks of overly bureaucratic decision-making processes can potentially hamper this development, as can protectionism, and so such practices should be avoided as much as possible. The CSISs include already existing initiatives to protect companies from foreign takeovers and acquisitions.

It is essential to reconcile legitimate policy goals with international trade mechanisms that rely on comparative advantages. International trade advantages do not just refer to innovative advantages. For many developing and emerging countries, the relatively low cost of manpower and the existence of natural resources are the major factors of competitiveness. Some trade-offs are needed, but how can we define them? Beyond the CSISs, international trade principles will define a playing field based on best practices and lessons from the experience of the previous phase of globalization, particularly the necessity to dynamically accommodate transition phases. The definition of the playing field will address levels of social, environmental, and health standards as well as governments subsidy issues intelligently, consistent with the level of development of the countries concerned, resulting in different categories of trading partners being taken into consideration. To match the scale of international trading partners, both the CSISs and international trade principles for Europe must be defined at the EU level, with special emphasis on consistency and solidarity.

How far can CSISs distance themselves from high-level international trade rules? Very importantly, and somewhat paradoxically, if a core set of strategic goods and services to be produced locally or regionally is to be defined, this definition will need to be agreed coordinated with as many players as possibile and as symmetrically as possible, not only at the EU level but also with other trade partners. Internationally agreed CSISs would help to avoid trade wars and be the first step in future international negotiations if and when the horizon becomes clear after the current crisis.

The international dimension: partners and rivals

In international trade, the EU faces major challenges from economic, technological, and industrial rivals; yet it also has an opportunity to strengthen ties with its historical partners.

First of all, there are obvious implications for the China conundrum that the EU is facing, in the form of trade rivalry.[19] China’s strategy in trade and international policy has taken an aggressive turn. The EU must evaluate what it must do and realistically can do in the face of a non-democratic behemoth with a population of 1.4 billion whose economic policy is governed by its national interest. Given the big difference between the 1947–1990 Cold War with the Soviet Union and the current situation, existing economic links with China jeopardize the interests of the EU and Member States initiatives’ industries. The multibillion-euro question is how far strategic autonomy and democratic imperatives can trump existing economic and business interests. The EU’s China policy involves fine-tuning a mix of political pressures, markets, and industrial transitions. Let us not forget, though, that EU–China dependence goes both ways and presents challenges to all involved. China has engaged for some years in a re-orientation of its industry towards its own internal market. Even given the authoritarian nature of the regime, economic and social transitions are not painless and pose a political risk.

The US has made major military and economic contributions to the development and welfare of Europe over the last decades. It is now partially pivoting away from Europe. After two decades of various forms of ‘America First’, the US is shifting away from the (benign) hegemonic role that it has held for years in international relations, seeming to favour a more combative posture in defending Western democracies (especially against Russia and China). Europe is still at pains to sort out the discrepancies between lenient speeches and tough realities. It is struggling to figure out what kind of relationship it can now establish without being considered a second-rank partner. Strong transatlantic relations, however, should remain an essential component of EU policy in order to preserve a balance in the international system by matching the population and economic weight of the Asian giants. Multinational companies, although multinational by name, and having interests in multiple regions, still have a prevalent national identity – especially US-based big tech companies. Consequently, any EU–US cooperation must include cross-Atlantic investment. This should be reinforced by selected joint research projects, with potential industry spin-offs benefitting both regions. The 29 September 2021 launch of the US–EU Trade and Technology Council, as part of the EU Digital Strategy,[20] has provided a framework for a reset of transatlantic relations. While it takes two to tango, we should put our best step forward.

The EC’s Summer 2020 Economic Forecast,[21] which came out before the adoption of the Recovery Plan and was updated in 2021,[22] emphasized that ‘exceptionally high risks concerning […] protectionist policies and an excessive turning away from global production chains could also negatively affect trade and the global economy’. But the same EC made strong statements about regaining strategic autonomy in the technological, industrial, and digital areas.[23] This clearly hints at a reassessment of supply chains and relocalizing production, within a context not only of increasing mistrust of China, but also of long-lasting echoes of ‘Made in America by American Workers’[24], to quote US President Joe Biden’s plan.

Future perspectives

Complete strategic autonomy does not exist. Easy references to elegantly coherent economic doctrines are of little use at this point. We have entered an era of deep pragmatism. As a Darwinian scholar explained:

Yes, change is the basic law of nature. But the changes wrought by the passage of time affects individuals and institutions in different ways. According to Darwin’s Origin of Species, it is not the most intellectual of the species that survives; it is not the strongest that survives; but the species that survives is the one that is able best to adapt and adjust to the changing environment in which it finds itself. Applying this theoretical concept to us as individuals, we can state that the civilization that is able to survive is the one that is able to adapt to the changing physical, social, political, moral, and spiritual environment in which it finds itself.[25]

Despite this quote being one of the most famous examples od misinterpretations of Darwin’s work, to the extent of our discussion, the point it underlines are still valid.

The best way to tackle the problem of European strategic autonomy while sticking to our common values-driven approach would be a mix of pragmatic considerations regarding economic policy and industry analyses. The COVID-19 crisis has dramatically emphasized the blind spots, shortcomings, and fragility of the international trade order. National economies and the international trade order are now engaged in a confusing process of accelerated change, facing compounded risks.

To compete on a global scale, the EU must improve its footing in strategic sectors, and aim to increase its international power, while enacting strategic – and ‘smart’ – policies. There is a widely shared view that globalization is here to stay. It has been demonstrated that the benefits of international competitive trade extend across countries and industries. However, even before the current crisis had highlighted its sometimes critical shortcomings, globalization had plateaued. Since 2019, the opinion has gained ground that the new international order will combine, in a principled, optimal, and realistic way, the dual requirements of strategic autonomy at the national and regional (EU) level with the benefits of open economies. In March 2020, the EC announced an attempt to define a long-term industrial strategy with three main priorities: global competitiveness with a level playing field, climate neutrality by 2050, and a digital future.[26] The September 2021 State of the Union address affirmed a blueprint for EU policies.[27]

 Conclusion: strategic autonomy imperatives for Europe

In conclusion, a plan for the EU to pragmatically interpret strategic autonomy imperatives would include the actions listed in Table 3.

TradeLeverage and fine-tune trade relationships between market economies to alleviate the industrial and political constraints posed by trade with non-market economies.  
Supply chainsCheck supply chains (resilience, source duplication), with industry bodies (soft instrument) and possibly impose regulatory rules (hard instrument), keeping in mind companies themselves are best placed to optimize value chains within a given context.  
IndustryMonitor industry adjustment in GVCs. Do whatever it takes to facilitate and possibly incentivize the needed changes.  
Post-pandemic future orientationMobilize all EU industrial and institutional competencies to identify areas where it needs to catch up: what we want the EU economy to be after the pandemic and how to help EU reach its full potential and adjust relations with non-market economies.  

Table 3: Actions required for the EU to increase strategic autonomy.

The concept of EU strategic autonomy is a central imperative for Europe. The discussion around what is strategic will lead to strengthened sovereignty. The political debate should proceed using the concept of deep pragmatism. This does not mean a shift towards protectionism or looser relations with strategic partners. It requires strategically coordinating the political agenda among the EU’s 27 Member States. Policies that favour the free market and industry initiatives will tend to strengthen the strategic nature of the actions undertaken by the Union. That will in turn strengthen popular sovereignty and the European social model. Smart (liberal) policies, in the era of digitization and major changes in industry and the internal market, are more essential than ever if we are not to fall behind in the strategic sectors of the future.

If you would like to read more on EU strategic autonomy, feel free to check this other Future of Europe Journal article on the topic here.

<Bib> Bibliography

S. Anghel, B. Immenkamp, E. Lazarou et. al. (2020), ‘On the path to ‘strategic autonomy: The EU in an evolving geopolitical environment’, Report, European Parliamentary Research Service, September 2020, PE 652.096 – DOI:10.2861/60568

Asian Development Bank (2021). ‘Key indicators for Asia and the Pacific’, August, https://www.adb.org/sites/default/files/publication/720461/ki2021.pdf

Council of the European Union (2008). ‘Council directive 2008/114/EC of 8 December 2008 on the identification and designation of European critical infrastructures and the assessment of the need to improve their protection’, Official Journal of the European Union, 23 December, https://eur-lex.europa.eu/LexUriServ/LexUriServ.do?uri=OJ:L:2008:345:0075:0082:EN:PDF.

Council of the European Union (2016). ‘Implementation plan on security and defence’, 14 November, http://data.consilium.europa.eu/doc/document/ST-14392-2016-INIT/en/pdf.

Draghi, M. (2019). ‘Sovereignty in a Globalised World’, speech delivered on the award of Laurea honoris causa in law from Università degli Studi di Bologna, Bologna, 22 February, https://www.ecb.europa.eu/press/key/date/2019/html/ecb.sp190222~fc5501c1b1.en.html.

EC (European Commission) (2021), ‘Country and regions: China’, https://ec.europa.eu/trade/policy/countries-and-regions/countries/china.

EC (European Commission) (2020).  ‘A new industrial strategy for Europe’, 10 March, https://ec.europa.eu/info/sites/default/files/communication-eu-industrial-strategy-march-2020_en.pdf.

EC (European Commission) (2020). ‘European economic forecast: summer 2020’, 7 July, https://ec.europa.eu/info/publications/european-economic-forecast-summer-2020_en.

EC (European Commission) (2021).  ‘Strategic dependencies and capacities’, 5 May, https://ec.europa.eu/info/sites/default/files/swd-strategic-dependencies-capacities_en.pdf.

EC (European Commission) (2021). ‘Digital in the Trade and Technology Council’, 18 October, https://digital-strategy.ec.europa.eu/en/policies/trade-and-technology-council.

European Council (2020), ‘Conference on the future of Europe’, https://www.consilium.europa.eu/en/policies/conference-on-the-future-of-europe.

Giglioli, S., Giovannetti, G. Marvasi, E., & Vivoli, A. (2021). ‘The Resilience of Global Value Chains During the Covid-19 Pandemic: The Case of Italy’. UniFI DISEI Working Paper No. 07/2021. Florence: Università degli Studi Firenze Dipartimento di Scienze per L’Economia e L’Impresa.

B. Lippert, N. von Ondarza, V. Perthes (eds.), (2019): ‘European Strategic Autonomy Actors, Issues, Conflicts of Interests’, SWP Research Paper, n° 4 2019, Berlin, doi: 10.18449/2019RP04

Megginson, L. C. (1963). ‘Lessons from Europe for American Business’. Southwestern Social Science Quarterly, 44(1), 3–13.

Murray, B. ‘Pandemic’s economic shocks fuel scrutiny of global value chains’, Bloomberg, 24 August 2021, https://www.bloomberg.com/news/newsletters/2021-08-24/supply-chain-latest-pandemic-shocks-fuel-debate-on-supply-chains.

OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development) (2021). ‘Global value chains: efficiency and risks in the context of COVID-19’, OECD Policy Responses to Coronavirus (COVID-19), 11 February, https://www.oecd.org/coronavirus/policy-responses/global-value-chains-efficiency-and-risks-in-the-context-of-covid-19-67c75fdc.

Tocci, N. (2021). ‘European strategic autonomy: what it is, why we need it, how to achieve it’, Istituto Affari Internazionali, https://www.iai.it/sites/default/files/9788893681780.pdf.

von der Leyen, U. (2021). ‘Strengthening the Soul of Our Union’, State of the Union speech, 15 September, https://ec.europa.eu/commission/presscorner/detail/ov/SPEECH_21_4701.


[1] European Council, ‘Conference on the future of Europe’, https://www.consilium.europa.eu/en/policies/conference-on-the-future-of-europe.

[2] N. Tocci, ‘European strategic autonomy: what it is, why we need it, how to achieve it’, Istituto Affari Internazionali, 2021, https://www.iai.it/sites/default/files/9788893681780.pdf.

[3] Ibid, N. Tocci, (2021), p. 7; See also: Council of the European Union, ‘Implementation plan on security and defence’,14 November 2016, http://data.consilium.europa.eu/doc/document/ST-14392-2016-INIT/en/pdf

[4] Tocci, ‘European strategic autonomy’.

[5] Insert here the country name of your choice.

[6] See: S. Anghel, B. Immenkamp, E. Lazarou et. al. (2020), ‘On the path to ‘strategic autonomy: The EU in an evolving geopolitical environment’, Report, European Parliamentary Research Service, September 2020, PE 652.096 – DOI:10.2861/60568 ; B. Lippert, N. von Ondarza, V. Perthes (eds.), (2019): ‘European Strategic Autonomy Actors, Issues, Conflicts of Interests’, SWP Research Paper, n° 4 2019, Berlin, doi: 10.18449/2019RP04

[7] M. Draghi (2019), ‘Sovereignty in a Globalised World’, speech delivered on the award of Laurea honoris causa in law from Università degli Studi di Bologna, Bologna, 22 February, https://www.ecb.europa.eu/press/key/date/2019/html/ecb.sp190222~fc5501c1b1.en.html.

[8] S. Giglioli, G. Giovannetti, E. Marvasi, and A. Vivoli (2021), ‘The Resilience of Global Value Chains During the Covid-19 Pandemic: The Case of Italy’, UniFI DISEI Working Paper No. 07/2021, Florence: Università degli Studi Firenze Dipartimento di Scienze per L’Economia e L’Impresa.

[9] Asian Development Bank, ‘Key indicators for Asia and the Pacific’, August 2021, https://www.adb.org/sites/default/files/publication/720461/ki2021.pdf, p. 229.

[10] Ibid. p. 230.

[11] Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), ‘Global value chains: efficiency and risks in the context of COVID-19’, OECD Policy Responses to Coronavirus (COVID-19), 11 February 2021, https://www.oecd.org/coronavirus/policy-responses/global-value-chains-efficiency-and-risks-in-the-context-of-covid-19-67c75fdc.

[12] B. Murray, ‘Pandemic’s economic shocks fuel scrutiny of global value chains’, Bloomberg, 24 August 2021, https://www.bloomberg.com/news/newsletters/2021-08-24/supply-chain-latest-pandemic-shocks-fuel-debate-on-supply-chains.

[13] Murray, ‘Pandemic’s economic shocks’.

[14] Hamlet, Act 3 scene 1.

[15] Council of the European Union, ‘Council directive 2008/114/EC of 8 December 2008 on the identification and designation of European critical infrastructures and the assessment of the need to improve their protection’, Official Journal of the European Union, 23 December 2008, https://eur-lex.europa.eu/LexUriServ/LexUriServ.do?uri=OJ:L:2008:345:0075:0082:EN:PDF, Art. 2(a).

[16] Draghi, ‘Sovereignty in a Globalised World’.

[17] EC, ‘Strategic dependencies and capacities’, 5 May 2021, https://ec.europa.eu/info/sites/default/files/swd-strategic-dependencies-capacities_en.pdf.

[18] Ibid.

[19] European Commission, ‘Country and regions: China’, https://ec.europa.eu/trade/policy/countries-and-regions/countries/china.

[20] European Commission, ‘Digital in the Trade and Technology Council’, 2021, https://digital-strategy.ec.europa.eu/en/policies/trade-and-technology-council.

[21] European Commission. ‘European economic forecast: summer 2020’, 7 July 2020, https://ec.europa.eu/info/publications/european-economic-forecast-summer-2020_en.

[22] EC, ‘Strategic dependencies and capacities’.

[23] European Commission (2021), ‘Digital sovereignty: Commission kick-starts alliances for Semiconductors and industrial cloud technologies’, Press Corner, 19th July

[24] The White House (2021), ‘President Biden to Sign Executive Order Strengthening Buy American Provisions, Ensuring Future of America is Made in America by All of America’s Workers’, Statements and Release, Briefing Room, January 25th.

[25] L. C. Megginson (1963), ‘Lessons from Europe for American Business’, Southwestern Social Science Quarterly, 44(1), 3–13.

[26] European Commission, ‘A New Industrial Strategy for Europe’, 10 March 2020, https://ec.europa.eu/info/sites/default/files/communication-eu-industrial-strategy-march-2020_en.pdf.

[27] U. von der Leyen (2021), ‘Strengthening the Soul of Our Union’, State of the Union speech, 15 September, https://ec.europa.eu/commission/presscorner/detail/ov/SPEECH_21_4701.

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