Originally focused on matters of security and defence, open strategic autonomy has expanded to encompass a wide range of policies from geopolitics, trade and economics (i.e. critical raw materials and supply chains) to technology, environment and climate, social and governance. However, the Member States still do not agree to what levels of ambition should strategic autonomy be pursued or how would the concept of strategic autonomy be defined. In the wake of the COVID-19 crisis and then with the war in Ukraine, all seem to agree that the EU should develop more capabilities to increase self-sufficiency.
This Conference jointly organised by the three Observatories of the European Economic and Social Committee, the Digital Transition and Single Market Observatory (DSMO), the Labour Market Observatory (LMO) and the Sustainable Development Observatory (SDO), aims to explore what strategic autonomy should mean, how could civil society help to accelerate transition to an open strategic autonomy of Europe, and how to ensure coherence between EU policies in the short and medium term.
After an opening session and an introductory panel, setting the scene of European strategic autonomy, this issue will be addressed in three panels on (1) Health, labour and social dimensions of strategic autonomy (LMO), (2) Strategic autonomy and the environment (SDO), and (3) How can EU help eco-friendly innovation and protect fundamental citizens' rights? (DSMO). Each panel will allow time for contributions from participants.