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ECIPE Webinar: EU Trade and Economic Interdependencies – Mapping the Road to “Strategic Autonomy”

November 15 2023
Venue: ZOOM Webinar
Speakers: Gunther Schnabl, Fredrik Erixon
Time: 16:00

Experts will discuss “Open Strategic Autonomy” and EU economic interdependencies.

The European Commission, along with some Member State governments, keeps pushing for EU Open Strategic Autonomy. Several EU laws have already been infused with the concept, resulting in EU policy interventions in production, trade, and investment. Policymakers aim to address several perceived risks, including concerns about value chain disruptions and the risk of economic coercion by third countries. New initiatives such as the “EU Economic Security Strategy” and the “Resilient EU 2023 approach to Open Strategic Autonomy”, suggest a continuing shift towards more defensive and inward-oriented economic policies.

The EU’s trade and investment profile demonstrates the mutually beneficial nature of EU trade and investment relationships. Except for a few niche areas like energy commodities and some raw materials, the EU does not have critical import dependencies. By contrast, Europe’s extensive integration into global value chains acts as a “safeguard” against coercion by non-EU governments that may compromise economic resilience and security. European businesses are intricately woven into global production and distribution networks. Data also shows that EU businesses and public sector institutions are benefitting much from access to advanced “non-EU” technologies.

Register for this event


Join us for an expert discussion to address the following questions:

  • What are the benefits of economic openness?
  • And what are the risks?
  • Are policymakers’ claims about „critical dependencies“ justified?
  • To what extent does the extensive integration of the EU into global value chains contribute to economic resilience and security?
  • How can EU policy foster mutually beneficial trade and investment relationships with non-EU countries?
  • What actions should the EU take to mitigate supply chain risks and prevent economic coercion?
  • What actions should the EU take to enhance trade and investment relationships with reliable partners like the US and OECD countries?
  • Considering the importance of supply-oriented structural reforms, what types of reforms should the EU and Member State governments initiate to bolster technological leadership and competitiveness?


Gunther Schnabl, Professor of Economics, Chair of Economic Policy and International Economic Relations, University of Leipzig

Fredrik Erixon, Director and Founder of ECIPE, Brussels

Moderator: Matthias Bauer, Director at ECIPE