Sovereign Europe, dangerous world: Five agendas to protect Europe’s capacity to act

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Publication Date November 2020
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  • In the last year, Europe has begun to recognise the need to defend its sovereignty in a threatening world.
  • Covid-19 has revealed and exacerbated many of Europe’s existing vulnerabilities; the European Union and its member states remain unable to act autonomously in key areas of national life.
  • Based on ECFR research, we propose five sovereignty agendas in health, economic, digital, climate change, and traditional security, all designed to promote a more sovereign Europe on that issues that matter most to Europeans.
  • Europe must not relinquish its rules-based approach or lapse into protectionism. But, to protect the open, multilateral order they so cherish, Europeans need to promote new rules permitting them to take action against countries that undermine the international system.
  • The EU’s €750 billion pandemic recovery fund offers the chance to underwrite this ambition – but, ultimately, Europeans need to master the art of acting as a geopolitical force in the world.
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