EU: a sovereign power for the XXI Century? – IED Strategic Research Papers 2021/22


The IED has launched in 2021 an external research project titled "EU: a sovereign power for the XXI Century?". The IED has selected a team of prestigious academics, researchers and renown personalities from all over Europe and has asked them to analyze the current position of the EU at the global level and formulate proposals to display the contents and the opportunities of a season of new EU "Strategic Autonomy, in the context of our International Alliance".

The crises that affected the EU in the last decade as well as the enhanced global competition and the emergence of new or old actors on the world stage have generated a serious debate on the EU role in the world. For that purposes the idea of strategic autonomy of the Union arises in the political and academic spheres, as a possible response especially for the areas of security and defence.

However, these two areas need to be expanded as the financial, scientific, technological or medical areas are also affected and require a comprehensive response. Any discussion about autonomy needs to be linked with the question of solidarity and subsidiarity between the Member States.

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This generates also a discussion about the idea of strategic resilience of the EU, meaning that the EU as a whole need to be resilient enough in order to be functional despite adverse conditions, such as the pandemic, as some Eastern and Central European Member States are reluctant toward the idea of a strategic autonomy decoupled from the United States of America.

From the external point of view the EU needs, as a global leader, to promote its interests, which are the sum of the common interests of the Members States. This depends on the solidarity of the Member States and their common actions.

How can the EU embody a "responsible global leadership" enhancing its economic, demographic and military strength but also its system of values?

Which solutions can find the EU to generate world wide support for its values and policy options and also have the ability to implement them?

How can the EU build external alliances with like-minded partners in order to promote its global agenda?

IED Strategic Research Papers