With the European Parliament elections one year away and upcoming national elections in several European Union member states, there are many unknowns about the way Europe will swing politically. But one thing seems certain. While Russia’s war on Ukraine, migration, and climate change – which all feature among the European public’s top concerns in polls – will be part of the debate, the EU’s response to them will be framed through the prism of economic resilience and competitiveness. With annual inflation rates in the EU currently still high at around 6 per cent, business organisations complaining, and cost of living concerns featuring prominently in media across the EU, European politics is going through another very economic moment.
Seemingly every week, EU member states announce new kinds of support for industries deemed critical for competitiveness and resilience, such as those for microchips, batteries, and medical supplies. The European Commission’s economic security strategy, launched on 20 June, also emphasises the importance of risk assessment in key areas such as cyber security, technology leakage, and supply chains. Simultaneously, business organisations, influential sectors such as agriculture, and the European People’s Party political group are calling for a regulatory pause on environmental legislation, and their message is getting through.
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