As this graphic illustrates, since 2011 China has increased its investments in innovation to great effect. China’s tech industry now rivals its European counterparts, which puts pressure on European nations to engage in constant economic innovation in order to uphold Europe’s long-held comparative advantage.
For an insight into the implications of China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) and targeted influence attempts in Europe, read Linda Maduz and Henrik Larsen’s Strategic Trends 2020 chapter here.
In the Declaration that emerged from the December 2019 London Leaders Meeting, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg was tasked to present Foreign Ministers with “a forward-looking reflection process under his auspices, drawing on relevant expertise, to further strengthen NATO’s political dimension including consultation”.1 This new tasking has been largely attributed to French President Emmanuel Macron’s remark the previous month that the Alliance was suffering from “brain death”.2 Speaking at a press conference alongside Stoltenberg, Macron elaborated on his comment, complaining the Alliance was overly focused on “cost-sharing or burden-sharing” whereas too little attention was being placed on major policy issues such as “peace in Europe, the post-INF, the relationship with Russia, the issue of Turkey, who is the enemy?”3
A few months after the European Parliament elections, and a few weeks before a new European Commission is fully operational, the European Union is facing old and new challenges, both domestic and international.