International openness is a fundamental pillar of the European Union. Much of the social and economic progress achieved over the past decades would have been impossible without it.
Yet, it is undeniable that the advancement of globalisation, both in trade and capital flows, has also made the EU acquire several dependencies with third countries that, in recent years, have become serious threats for our citizens’ well-being. Global shocks like the Covid pandemic and the Russian military aggression against Ukraine disrupted the supply chains of medicines, microchips, energy and food, causing several shortages, inflationary crisis, and social damage.
European governments need to act swiftly and decisively to address these threats. Specially because there are strong reasons to believe that these vulnerabilities could worsen in the future, due to increasing geopolitical fragmentation, growing competition for some raw materials and technologies, and the impact of megatrends such as climate change.
The European Commission has suggested the concept of Open Strategic Autonomy as an interpretive key to address such risks and it has crafted important reports and policies to advance it, along with many Member States.
However, we still lack a concrete vision of what measures that Open Strategic Autonomy would entail for each sector of our economy, and a comprehensive analysis of the social costs and benefits that such measures could have for European citizens in the medium and long term.
Filling this gap will be one of the key priorities of the 2023 Spanish Presidency of the EU –an ambition that will be pursued in a number of ways:
- An EU-wide Research Project that will study from a data-driven, multidisciplinary, and forward-looking approach which are the main strategic vulnerabilities of the EU in four key areas (Energy, Food, Health, and Digital Tech), which are the most effective ways of tackling them, and what effects this might have in the EU citizens’ well-being. This will be done through the collaboration of 25 European governments, over 40 ministries, and the especial support of the European Commission and the Council of the EU.
- Informal European Council meeting in Granada. On October, the Heads of State and Government of the 27 will meet in the city of Granada to discuss the future of the Open Strategic Autonomy and approve a joint declaration that will set the future strategic priorities of the EU, following the path traced by the EC and previous presidencies.
- Working meetings and events. Throughout the year, we will celebrate several high-level meetings and events to discuss the European strategic agenda with government officials of the 27 member states, business leaders from all over the world, scholars, trade unionists, and representatives of civil society. A detailed list will be released soon.
Participating member states