EU aims to protect sensitive technology from foreign actors


The European Commission proposed on Tuesday a new strategy aimed at preventing the leakage of sensitive technologies to non-EU actors that might abuse the know-how.

Ursula von der Leyen, the president of the European Commission, presented the European Economic Security Strategy at a news conference in Brussels.

She explained that the strategy is meant to “promote the competitiveness” of the European industry and “to protect ourselves from risk we identified.”

“We need to ensure that European companies’ capital, their knowledge, their expertise, their research is not abused by countries of concern for military application,” von der Leyen asserted.

The proposal mandates the EU executive body to control European companies’ outbound investment or export to foreign companies that might lead to giving away sensitive technologies in sectors such as microelectronics, quantum computing, robotics, AI, and biotech.

It would also allow the EU to prevent foreign investment in European companies if risks giving too much influence over European critical infrastructure or know-how.

The strategy addresses risks related to the resilience of supply chains and critical infrastructure, including energy security, as well as risks related to technology leakage and the “weaponization of economic dependencies,” the European Commission said in a statement.

The document does not mention China directly, but the proposal clearly subscribes to the bloc’s new policy line, inaugurated by von der Leyen in March, that aims at “de-risking” instead of “de-coupling” in relations with the world’s second-largest economy.

EU leaders will discuss the strategy at the forthcoming summit on June 29-30.

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