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The notion of European ‘strategic sovereignty’ is increasingly important to debates about the European Union. Given rapidly shifting global geopolitical and technology trends, and the seeming fragmentation of the multilateral order, the EU is being forced to confront its own position in international affairs. A number of concepts have been given life because of the deteriorating international scene including ‘European sovereignty’, ‘strategic autonomy’, ‘digital sovereignty’, ‘technological sovereignty’ and ‘open strategic autonomy’. However defined, there is a need to move beyond concepts and focus on the practical nature of economic and technological interdependence, multilateralism and strategic partnerships.
This Chaillot Paper zooms in on each of these elements of the debate about European sovereignty with case studies that centre on semiconductors, the Iran nuclear deal and EU security and defence partnerships with the United States and United Kingdom. The volume also includes an introductory chapter that grapples with three major conceptual observations about the term strategic sovereignty.
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