A revived transatlantic relationship stands as the background for NATO’s new Strategic Concept. After four troublesome years during Donald Trump’s presidency, the Biden administration has actively tried to relaunch the US-Europe dialogue, with partial success. The 2021 NATO summit in Brussels on June 14th was generally regarded as a constructive one, confirming the positive impression of the previous G7 summit in Carbis Bay and paving the way for the US-EU summit on June 15th.
Sanctions to Russia forbidding the import of dual-use technology have highlighted the importance of reliable supply chains and strategic autonomy in high-tech sectors. The quest for this digital sovereignty has led the EU to recently announce a Strategic Compass to better coordinate its capacity building in the physical and digital spheres. Brussels has also launched the European Chips Act to become a leading player in the semiconductor industry. Are these initiatives enough to better position the European Union in the global technological competition?
On May 16, the French Presidency of the Council of the European Union hosted the second meeting of the Trade and Technology Council (TTC) in Paris, almost a year after the launch of this new transatlantic alliance on trade and shared economy between the United States and the European Union.
Digital sovereignty is a leitmotif in the political agenda worldwide. States around the world are making technological supremacy and innovation the cornerstones of their diplomatic, security, and economic efforts. This trend is even more true in the wake of the Ukraine war. Sanctions on Russia, impeding the import of dual-use technology, have highlighted the importance of reliable supply chains and strategic autonomy in high-tech sectors.
The year 2022 will be remembered for many things: the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the end of the COVID-19 pandemic, and the year that both NATO and the EU published their security strategies. For the European Union, the Strategic Compass represents the willingness of 27 countries with different strategic cultures to better coordinate, invest in capacity building, and partner with international organisations such as the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and the United Nations knowing that a secure environment is crucial for European security.
Cybert hreats – like ransomware or other types of malwares – are evolving, pervasive, and ubiquitous. They endanger both individuals and organizations across several communities worldwide. They run through addresses networks, information systems, and services, which represent the backbone of contemporary digital societies and the premises for their industrial, economic, and social development.
US President Joe Biden has arrived in South Korea, the first stop in a five-day Asian tour that will also bring him to Japan. The trip – Biden's first to Asia since taking office – is meant to reaffirm the US commitment to restraining China, despite the recent focus on the Ukraine war. How Biden intends to pursue this objective, however, remains unclear. His main economic tool to contain China — the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework (IPEF) — and its participants will be finally unveiled.
Nothing will ever be the same. It’s hard not to share such a clear yet simple assessment of the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. In the short span of a few weeks, indeed a few days, ordinary human activities were disrupted. The impact was immediate and particularly visible in cities where traffic frenzy and traffic jams were suddenly replaced by deserted streets and unreal silence.
Over the last two years, global economy – and the EU’s in particular – has been shaken by two “black swans” in a row: Covid-19 and the war in Ukraine. After the impressive economic rebound in 2021, the conflict has already taken its economic toll: growth forecasts for 2022 and 2023 are heavily revised downwards, public debts are skyrocketing, and inflation is at 30-year high, and likely to keep rising.
Most of the developed world reacted to Russian government’s military operations in Ukraine with a prompt economic counteroffensive.
Foreign producers who have heavily invested in Russia over the past two decades – betting on Russia’s political stability, size, and access to the post-Soviet market - now face a hard choice: how to do business without losing face. Many are considering to go-in-between jurisdictions (Armenia, Kazakhstan, Serbia, etc.) to continue trading with Russia to circumvent sanctions.
“I condemn Russia’s offensive against the Ukrainian people in Donbas. We must (…) impose peace on Russia so that Ukraine regains its full sovereignty.” Such were the blunt words against the Kremlin pronounced by French far-right politician and Vladimir Putin’s long-time ally, Marine Le Pen.
Economic sanctions imposed by the EU against Russia aim at weakening Moscow’s economy by cutting it off trade flows with European countries. So far, six rounds of sanctions have been introduced, but have they been effective? Are they going to harm European economies as well, and to what extent? In the short term, Europe growth prospects will be affected; but in the medium to long run, it might be possible for the EU to strengthen its trade partnerships with other countries thanks to its extensive networks of Preferential Trade Agreements.