Rethinking Strategic Sovereignty: EU Member states, their economies & the capacity to act independently
|Wed. November 20, 2019
Since the end of the cold war, Europeans based their idea of a world they wanted to live in on three crucial pillars:
- A multilateral, rules-based order that insulates economic relations and global problems from geopolitical competition.
- A security alliance based on shared interests and values, with the US as the foundation of global order.
- Free and fair global trade that benefits everybody and that allows state policy to focus on consumer protection rather than the interests of producers.
In an era of resurgent global geopolitical and geo-economic competition, a collective action by sovereign European states would give European leaders the power to promote European values, to defend a multilateral system that helps protect European interests, and to allow Europeans to trade and invest with whomever they please without regard to external pressure.
In this context this discussion about “strategic sovereignty” is ever more relevant as it evolves around creating an environment in which Europe will be able to lead at a global level rather than just getting into the weeds of national life. Under Europe’s current structure the idea of sovereignty is a misnomer, as it does not have a federal authority like e.g. the United States.
This requires a complete rethinking about the purpose of European integration. In an earlier era, the main tools of EU Policymaking served quite different purposes than they do today. Defense and security policy was about demilitarizing Europe rather than building capabilities and a capacity for collective and organized action.
The lack of a coherent and coordinated center has turned the very strength of Europe into a vulnerability that threatens security, economic health, and diplomatic freedom by allowing other powers to impose their preferences on it.
Today, the power of European integration needs to focus on enhancing the capacity of EU member states to compete effectively in a world of harsh geopolitical competition and in the face of emerging economic and technological markets, otherwise the EU risks lagging behind.
Topics to be addressed in this Webinar:
- Europe’s vulnerabilities in economics and finance revolve around the US dollar and financial market dominance, secondary sanctions, lack of coordination on investments, competition policy and artificial intelligence. What policies need to be established on standards for information platforms and cyber hygiene, and build domestic resilience to info war.
- Are politics and diplomacy policy agenda better served to focus on expanding the WTO and IMF reform agendas, allow external role for ESM, EIB and EBRD for independent action and developing and harmonizing national AI Strategy?
- Sanctions: What would happen if the Americans restricted EU trade and investment in Russia or China in the same way they have done with Iran?
- Is there a need to create a more “strategic sovereignty” through collective acts to permit an effective response to exogenous pressures
This EACC Chapter wide webinar analyses the concept of sovereignty and discuss how the EU could to learn to think and operate like a geopolitical power.
SUBJECT MATTER EXPERT:
- Jeremy Shapiro, Research Director, EUROPEAN COUNCIL OF FOREIGN RELATIONS
- Rolf Alter, Senior Fellow, HERTIE SCHOOL OF GOVERNANCE, Berlin (moderator)