Europe Reacts to Russian Gas and Chinese Technology

Russian gas became a drug in Europe. Dependence on Chinese telephone infrastructure and electric cars is risky nowadays.

The European Commission has responded by releasing a number of suggestions aimed at safeguarding its economy. The proposal intends to assess incoming foreign investments in sensitive sectors, tighten export controls, and limit investment overseas in industries that are sensitive.

It’s a cautious approach, less aggressive than the US’ security campaign aimed against China, partly because of the EU’s cumbersome structure. Even if China and Russia are the EU’s current targets, some of the same tactics might be used against Washington, especially if Donald Trump wins the presidency.

The package expands upon the geopolitical vision of European Commission President Ursula Von der Leyen, which aims to integrate economic policy with national security issues. This translates into increased government spending and safeguarding tariffs or quotas to safeguard vital sectors like semiconductors, artificial intelligence, and quantum computing. The immediate objectives appear to be the same on both sides of the Atlantic: harm Russia and “de-risk” from China.

Following Moscow’s complete invasion of Ukraine, the US and EU coordinated Russia’s export restrictions. They have coordinated their efforts to keep China from acquiring the newest semiconductor technology. The export of sophisticated silicon chip manufacturing equipment made by Dutch company ASML was prohibited by the Netherlands. The EU started looking into imports of electric vehicles from China.

However, the general European strategy is still cautious. The United States can move more quickly as a single nation with a single executive branch than as a loose federation of 27 distinct nation-states. Member states continue to be in charge of national security even though the EU controls trade policy. The EU has the authority to enact new laws to approve, limit, and manage foreign investments. It must share accountability for export regulations and outward investment with Berlin, Paris, and other capital cities of the nation.

Leave a Comment