Springeurop Paper 14


« For a stronger and more autonomous geopolitical and economic Europe »

Springeurop, a private non-partisan think tank created in 2013, is convinced that in the current crisis Europe will not be able to fulfill a credible geopolitical leadership role without having considerably strengthened its economy, particularly in the face of China and the USA.


Among the various priorities identified, let us highlight:

At the geopolitical level:

  • The need for the EU-27 to have a procedure for enhanced cooperation in areas of common interest, or even extended in the long term to the new European Political Community (EPC) grouping 44 countries;
  • EU management bodies and voting procedures to enable faster decision-making at internal and international level.

At the economic level:

  • The need to strengthen industrial and innovation policy:
  • Controlling climate change and new energies.


Assessment of the main existing weaknesses:

  1. Although it remains the world’s leading economic bloc (450 million consumers), the EU lacks strategy, geopolitical and economic leadership in the face of the USA and China;
  2. Its institutional functioning is far too cumbersome and complex with three institutions and administrations;
  3. It is slow to implement its strategy with adequate financing and regulatory tools in the sectors of the future such as infrastructure, defense, semiconductors, batteries, digital, the environment and new energies:
  4. Its historical and fundamental values based on universality are being attacked from within by an unseemly communitarianism;
  5. Its propensity to legislate urbi et orbi in a bureaucratic manner prevents the development of economic liberalism and leads to deindustrialization to the benefit of its competitors, especially American and Chinese;
  6. Finally, programmed ecology is based on ideological postulates that are often far removed from science, common sense and industrial realities.


Our recommendations:


1/ Simplify EU governance and decision-making:

  • The Common Foreign and Security Policy would be defined by the Council, but by qualified majority and with a right of proposal, control and veto of the Parliament;
  • It would be executed by the President of the Commission assisted by the High Representative, who would no longer have an autonomous role or function;
  • The President of the Council would continue to be appointed by the Council but would only have an internal function and no competence to represent the Union externally.


2/ Strengthening the role of the €:

The Euro is an important lever for a strong currency and economy, implying a roadmap with deadlines:

  • EU member countries must impose greater discipline on countries with large budget deficits, often coupled with public debts that must rapidly move towards acceptable European averages;
  • In addition, a Monetary Union should be completed which implies a strong governance structure including the implementation of the EU-led Banking Union. The aim is to establish a pan-European capital market while protecting citizens from excessive risk-taking;
  • Finally, it will be important to help those who have not yet joined the Euro to meet the accession criteria as soon as possible, in order to extend its influence and status among the other major geopolitical blocs.


3/ Rationalize European finances, aid and subsidies:

It is necessary to avoid the current over-spreading of “NextGenerationEU”, “Feder”, “ReacEU”, “HorizonEurope”, “Invest EU”, “EIB” and other existing grants or loans.


4/ Create an Economic Strategy and Innovation Council:

The President of the European Commission and the Commissioner for Industry should set up an Economic and Innovation Strategy Council bringing together representatives of European employers, SMEs and Trade Unions twice a year to draw up an economic recovery plan underpinned by KPI. This plan will focus on innovative technologies and services such as infrastructure, defense and security, semiconductors, batteries, environment and new energies. The “Global Gateway Board” should not only be a geopolitical project, but also an economic one given its sectorial priorities. It should be integrated with European employers in a new “Economic Strategy and Innovation Council” in order to avoid any duplication.


5/ Targeting entrepreneurship among young people post-Erasmus:

By using currently unspent funds, the Commission could better support European entrepreneurship among post-Erasmus youth.



January 2023