Open strategic autonomy: economic security measures should not harm EU’s competitiveness
24 May 2023 - Today, BusinessEurope published its new paper "Open Strategic Autonomy – How trade policy can best support European competitiveness". It addresses some of the most important geopolitical and competitiveness challenges that European companies are facing: mitigating risk and increasing resilience in supply chains, creating new market opportunities, promoting more sustainable standards globally, respecting the rules-based order and ensuring a level playing field.
BusinessEurope Director General Markus J. Beyrer said: "We need to make Europe more competitive, more attractive for investments. An ambitious and dynamic trade policy is fundamental to retain competitiveness in Europe and to make Europe stronger in the world. To mitigate geopolitical risks and make our supply chains more resilient we need to diversify our imports, we must open new markets through the ratification and effective implementation of trade agreements.
Economic security is a concern, but new measures need to be carefully assessed to avoid a negative impact on Europe’s competitiveness. We support increasing coordination and exchange of information on export controls at European and international levels. We call for caution regarding limitations on outbound investment. If considered, only in exceptional cases where serious security concerns are effectively proven as a last resort measure and thoroughly discussed with business."
Some additional recommendations in the paper:
- Assessing the impact on competitiveness before introducing new export restrictions. Coordination across member states, as well as consultation with the private sector, is crucial to avoid fragmentation and ensure legal certainty for companies.
- Joining and promoting informal alliances open to other countries that share the same objectives.
- Promote sustainability objectives through the introduction of “minimum sustainability standards” based on measurable, transparent and well-established international conventions.
- Strengthen Europe’s innovation-driven economy by promoting effective protection of intellectual property and adopting ambitious digital trade policies.
You can download the paper here.