The EU executive stresses the assessments will be “country agnostic”. However, while the economic strategy does not name China, it talks of partnering with link-minded countries and de-risking, its policy of reducing reliance on China.
The assessments should be completed by the end of the year. The Commission could then propose measures, such as on outbound investment.
The Commission may also propose in early 2024 assessing a further six technology fields – including in energy, robotics and space.
The economic strategy also envisages a review of a now patchy screening system for foreign investments in the EU, a proposal to make export controls more effective and measures to improve research security.
The strategy will involve a delicate balancing act for the Commission because national security is a competence of the EU’s 27 individual members.
While most recognise the need for a harmonised strategy, particularly because the EU has a common trade policy, many are reluctant to transfer power to Brussels.
The Commission, which oversees EU trade policy, has said the strategy, including the assessments, will be carried out with EU governments.
Reporting by Philip Blenkinsop; Editing by Nick Macfie
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