Tuesday

24th Nov 2020

Podcast

Europe on a power trip

  • With Joe Biden as US president-elect, does the French concept of 'strategic autonomy' for the EU still hold water? (Photo: Helena Malikova)

"Strategic autonomy" has become the mantra for European Union officials.

It started as a broadly French idea: that Europe needs sufficient military power to promote peace and security independent of the US.

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Become an expert on Europe

Get instant access to all articles — and 20 years of archives. 14-day free trial.

... or subscribe as a group

Nowadays the term also includes the power in trade and technology that Europe needs to avoid getting squeezed by China and America.

But with Joe Biden as US president-elect, and prospects for a renewal of trans-Atlantic ties, the urgency and relevance of the concept are again up for debate.

Nathalie Tocci wrote the European Global Strategy that gave the concept of strategic autonomy its prominence. She says strategic autonomy should remain a guiding principle for Europe, even after Donald Trump leaves the White House.

Another challenge for strategic autonomy comes from EU member states with liberal economic and internationalist outlooks.

Financial Times Brussels reporter Mehreen Khan talks about the implications of strategic autonomy for Europe's free traders, the distribution of Covid-19 vaccines, and the durability of Europe's soft power credentials.

Author bio

EU Scream is the progressive politics podcast from Brussels. Produced by James Kanter with graphics by Helena Malikova and music by Lara Natale.

You may also subscribe via iTunes, Spotify or from the EU Scream website.

Apostles of intersectionality challenge Europe

Intersectionality is the concept that overlapping identities - disability, gender, race and sexual-orientation for example - create forms of discrimination that can go unaddressed. But many EU leaders are wary of the kind of identity politics that intersectionality implies.

Online violence: Stories from Bulgaria and Spain

Bigots and far-right extremists are using online violence to try to silence feminists and LGBT people. It's a cowardly tactic since perpetrators don't even have to meet their targets. We hear stories from two Europeans on the receiving end

Ylva Johansson on Migration and Drama Queens

Commissioner for home affairs, Ylva Johansson, would like to win the approval of all EU member states for a new proposal for a common asylum and migration policy - something her predecessors failed to do.

Data and Dystopia

Despite concerns about civil liberties and activities of companies like Clearview AI and Palantir, EU authorities are shaping a new industrial policy around artificial intelligence.

Standing up to bullies with Frans Timmermans

To succeed Timmermans needs to stand up to governments and vested interests rushing to reboot economies crashed by the coronavirus. That means ensuring the trillions of euros the EU and its member states spend transform rather than entrench polluting industries.

The high price of muzzling media

The coronavirus outbreak has been a pretext for government censorship and a crackdown on journalists, who have been exposed to new criminal charges as well as violent attacks.

Crisis communications

When journalists were barred from the EU commission press room in March because of coronavirus, the relatively-new chief spokesperson, Eric Mamer, amiable Frenchman, had to improvise.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Nordic Council of MinistersJoin the Nordic climate debate on 17 November!
  2. UNESDAMaking healthier diets the easy choice
  3. Nordic Council of MinistersUN Secretary General to meet with Nordic Council on COVID-19
  4. UNESDAWell-designed Deposit Return Schemes can help reach Single-Use Plastics Directive targets
  5. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic Council meets Belarusian opposition leader Svetlana Tichanovskaja
  6. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic Region to invest DKK 250 million in green digitalised business sector

Latest News

  1. There is 'no Russia-Turkey alliance'
  2. EU air quality improves, but pollution levels still high
  3. 'Golden Passports': Malta takes 67 days to respond to EU
  4. Covid-19: Romania's rural kids hit hardest by pandemic
  5. 'We call on the EU to appoint a Horn of Africa envoy'
  6. Berlin Foreign Policy Forum 2020
  7. EU stands by anti-Covid drug, despite WHO doubts
  8. Russia is 'pre-eminent naval power' in Mediterranean

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us