Memo to the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy

The threats to the European Union’s economic sovereignty

Jean Pisani-Ferry and Guntram Wolff published in July 2019 a memo to the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy. In the document, the authors describe the current context and the increasing interlinkages between economics and power politics and the role to play in reinforcing and defending Europe’s economic sovereignty.

Economics used to play a limited role in foreign policy, which was about wars, conflicts and human disasters – and how to avoid them. But neither China nor the United States now separates economics from geopolitics.

The competition between them is simultaneously an economic competition and a security competition. This is a threat to the multilateral system the European Union has relied on for nearly seven decades and to the EU’s separation of external economic relationships from geopolitics.

The role of the High Representative and of the future Commission will be to redefine for the EU its concept of economic sovereignty and the instruments it needs to defend and promote it.

The full text of the Memo is available on the Bruegel website.

Read the full memo

Listen to the audio version.