Is the French president's vision for Europe realistic?

DW - Apr 13, 2023

It has been six years since French President Emmanuel Macron publicly discussed the concept of sovereignty in the EU. Macron's model of economic sovereignty is based on the five pillars of competitiveness, industrial policy, protection of markets, reciprocity in trade relations, and cooperation. The French president also stresses that critical technologies necessary for meeting Europe's climate goals should be produced in the EU. Currently, the production of those technologies, as well as the rare earths needed for digital and green transitioning, all come from China, argues Carme Colomina, Senior Research Fellow at CIDOB, who stresses that the EU is dependent on China when it comes to climate change. To combat that fact, the EU Commission recently proposed a new law regulating critical raw materials. Acknowledging the newly proposed strategies, Colomina wonders whether they can actually be implemented fast enough to be effective. She points out that they come at a time when “dependencies are already being built.” But the concept of strategic autonomy also comprises a security dimension. For Colomina, Emmanuel Macron is really one of the strongest leaders behind the idea of closer defense cooperation. She thinks he understands European sovereignty as a means to enabling the EU to chart its own path.

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