Current transformations of the global order demand a stronger role of the European Union if it still wants to play its part. Originally circumscribed to the fields of security and defence, the concept of “strategic autonomy” must today evolve to cover multiple areas of the EU’s external action, from geoeconomics and trade to digital and technological transformations, global health, climate policies, cybersecurity, or artificial intelligence. For the EU, it is not enough to regulate internally and export global standards, in line with its normative power, but must also acquire the capabilities, align its strategic priorities, and enhance the political will to act as a global player in all these fields. Strategic autonomy has become a global objective, but the EU still underperforms, both internally and externally, when it comes to aligning its policies to foster strategic autonomy and to speak on an equal basis to the rest of global powers.
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