Priorities for the next Commission: Strengthening European sovereignty and strategic autonomy

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      In the face of current geopolitical context, Europe finds itself at a crucial crossroads where political and industrial decisions become essential levers to consolidate the European Union (EU). Recent elections offer the opportunity to reassess our institutional orientation, in a context where each choice seems dictated by a historic urgency.

      A decade ago, the process of selecting the next European Commission was described as a “last chance.” Today, it is perceived as a decisive encounter with history. Recent events and crises have highlighted the limits of EU mobilization and its ability to assert itself on the international stage. The efforts deployed to support Ukraine, while juggling with an energy crisis and increasing inflation, call for a strategic reassessment of our policies.

      The EU has entered a new era of geopolitical tension. Have our leaders grasped the stakes and current threats? Today, verbal semantics are no longer sufficient; our alliances will not be enough to ward off threats. Globalization has shown its limitations. There is a paradigm shift taking place!

      The main priority of the next commission will be to promote strategic autonomy, both in terms of security and defense, energy and industry, health and agriculture. This orientation stems from the need to strengthen our defense and security capabilities in Europe, given the proliferation of conflicts and threats and their geographical proximity. The weakness of the continent would be synonymous with inevitable conflict.

      On the industrial front, the focus will be on ensuring European sovereignty in securing supply chains and in the continent’s reindustrialization process.

      Europe faces the looming threat of a structural decline in its commercial influence. This underscores the urgency to address sovereignty concerns swiftly, lest the EU finds itself with diminished commercial power and restricted strategic options.

      We are increasingly dependent on non-European technologies, particularly in the areas of clean technologies and digital infrastructure. This growing dependence is not just an economic issue; it is a strategic vulnerability that affects our autonomy.

      Europe has entered a global race for green technologies, competing with China’s production power and unprecedented investments from the United States.

      Decarbonization, digitalization, and innovation will play a central role in the strategy aimed at transforming the European economy in the coming years.


      Laurent ULMANN