The Commission has introduced a range of initiatives aimed at bolstering the EU’s economic defense. Europe, like various regions worldwide, is navigating increasing geopolitical strife and significant technological transformations, posing several challenges. Moreover, the Commission is keen on maintaining the EU’s status as a highly open and appealing hub for business and investment. Consequently, it has proposed several new strategies in trade and research sectors.
In terms of trade, the initiatives involve:
- Enhancing the examination of foreign investments into the EU to avert those that could threaten the EU’s security. This includes ensuring that all Member States have mechanisms for screening in place, standardizing national regulations more effectively, and broadening the types of investments to be scrutinized.
- Adopting a unified stance on the EU’s export of dual-use items—products that can serve both civilian and military uses (like advanced electronics)—to prevent them from being acquired by hostile entities.
- Assessing the hazards tied to certain EU investments overseas, such as the possibility of advanced technologies boosting the military capabilities of adversaries against the EU.
Regarding research, the Commission aims to support the research and development of versatile technologies and to strengthen research security throughout the EU.
These measures are part of the follow-up to the European Economic Security Strategy introduced in June 2023, which established a framework for the EU to craft a holistic strategy for safeguarding the Union’s economic security.