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Economic security: A new EU paradigm?

Economic governance / DISCUSSION PAPER
Fabian Zuleeg

Date: 08/06/2023
In this unstable global environment, economic security should be one of the key transformations EUrope needs to achieve. This Discussion Paper looks at how achieving greater economic security should be a defence against aggression (for example, Russia’s war on Ukraine), a means of using economic instruments in global conflicts and the basis of a reinvigorated hard security sector.

However, achieving economic security requires a long-term effort to change policymaking and the level of EU cooperation. The Paper puts forward several steps that could be taken in the near future; these include:

  • Jointly defining economic security and Europe’s long-term objectives in this field to be reflected in the economic security strategy.
  • Having an action plan for the next Commission and setting out short, medium and long-term policy changes that need to happen to enhance economic security.
  • Screening all relevant policies for their economic security impact.
  • Building the political and economic foundations for economic security, including engaging with citizens about the sacrifices and trade-offs that are needed.
  • Identifying critical economic infrastructure and systems and drawing up contingency plans in case of conflict.
  • Proposing ways in which executive capacity and decision-making at the EU level in areas relevant to economic security can be enhanced, including changes in decision-making procedures.
  • Developing a blueprint for global economic security cooperation between like-minded countries, covering issues such as sanctions.
  • Engaging with the EU’s neighbourhood to foster cooperation on economic security and set out where the Union can act as a guarantor.
  • Investing in analytical capability to better anticipate and change policies and decisions in advance, rather than only reacting after security has been compromised.

Read the full paper here.
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