01 Jun 2022 - 31 Dec 2022
Research, Trade, economic integration and globalization

Global value chains

The idea of European strategic autonomy has its origins in the fields of security and defense, but has started to resonate beyond these areas extending to foreign and trade policies. The Covid pandemic and more recently the Russian invasion in Ukraine, have made clear the vulnerability of global value chains and the need to maintain functioning and resilient supply chains and trade flows during such crises.

The study should focus on Open Strategic Autonomy and explore the foundations of a contemporary European supply of raw materials, energy and critical goods. It should address the following questions:

  • Which raw materials are particularly important for the EU - especially against the background of the green transformation - and at the same time critical in terms of supply?
  • Where are these currently obtained from and what alternative sources are there?
  • What (economic) importance could raw material partnerships in the EU have?
  • How can the EU, whenever possible, work strategically with trade partners and, when necessary, defend its interests and take autonomous trade decisions offsetting other countries’ unfair practices and undue interferences?

One aim of the study is to provide an overview of critical raw materials bearing in mind the focal points of the (political) debate. It shall analyse the potential of bilateral/regional raw material agreements.

The study shall focus on how international trade and investment can help address EU's vulnerabilities relating to energy, raw materials and critical goods (including agricultural products like grain) and on the importance of global value chains for the strategic sectors concerned. It shall analyse how international agreements as well as legislative and other tools so far address these items and, in particular, the question of raw materials dependency of the EU. It should also look at the EU's open strategic autonomy and internal economic initiatives (like the Chip's act and the Industrial Strategy) and identify possible synergies. Finally, the study should provide an overview on possible cooperation with like-minded third countries.

Project partners: CASE - Center for Social and Economic Research,  ISPI - Istituto per gli Studi di Politica Internazionale, London School of Economics, University of Innsbruck, University of Göttingen, Università del Piemonte Orientale

Client: European Parliament's Committee on International Trade (INTA)