Geoeconomics – New Challenges for Europe

EconPol Europe Annual Conference 2023


Representation of the Free State of Bavaria to the EU, Rue Wiertz 77

Prosperity and social peace in Europe essentially depend on its successful economic model, which has been characterized by a strong export orientation, the international division of labor, and technological leadership. Recent events such as the corona crisis, the outbreak of the war in February 2022, growing geopolitical challenges as well as the need for a digital and green transformation have shaken Europe’s success model permanently.

Europe is facing an unprecedented energy crisis. The invasion of the Ukraine underpinned large dependencies on Russian gas and showed that the diversification of the energy supply chain is crucial for energy security in Europe and for ensuring the competitiveness of Europe’s industry. The major political issue for Europe in the short run is the provision of adequate supply of energy at an affordable price for all citizens and the economy, as renewable energy sources are not yet enough to meet demand. To secure prosperity in the future, however, member states must decide on their energy mix and the balance between energy security, energy price stability, and their commitments to achieve climate neutrality by 2050.

Europe’s economy, its key technologies and the technological transformation towards a digital and green economy are highly dependent on international trade and the import of raw materials and intermediate products. However, recent disruptions in global supply chains and geopolitical tensions have exposed the risks for European welfare associated with dependencies from few countries, in particular China and other autocratic states. Strategies such as decoupling from China, friendshoring, and the relocation of production steps back to Europe are therefore being increasingly discussed in politics and in the media.

In the 2023 Annual EconPol Europe Conference, we discuss future challenges for the EU such as the need for a technological and green transformation, dependencies from autocratic states, supply chain resilience, energy crisis, and the risks associated with protectionism and the creation of regional blocs. We will draw lessons from the current energy crisis and discuss the role of the EU, implications for fiscal and economic policy, and the power of the EU single market to overcome these challenges and ensure a prosperous and sustainable Europe.

The conference will take place on November 30, 2023 (starting at 10 a.m.) in Brussels. The keynote speech will be delivered by Sabine Weyand, Director-General for Trade in the European Commission.

Registration for the conference will open at the end of September and we look forward to welcoming you to this event.