From digital protectionism to digital alliances

Av Stefan Fölster
Publicerad 19 April, 2023
24 pages

★The EU risks edging toward digital protectionism by means that, according to most studies, could undermine economic growth and security in Europe. 

★Digital protectionism jeopardizes Europe’s advantage in mainstream industries that rely on edge computing without increasing competition in large-scale digital platforms. 

★The EU and America share a legitimate need to secure supply chains and strive for technological leadership. These aims are weakened by indiscriminate trade impediments but could be strengthened by carefully crafted alliances. 

★As chair of the Council of the EU during the first half of 2023, Sweden should: (a) propagate an evidence-based approach to the EU´s digital agenda; (b) revitalize high-level discussion such as the US-European Trade and Technology Council (TTC); and (c) initiate talks on operative cooperation on cyber security, common research, and common trade stances toward countries such as China. 

★A more ambitious, operative Atlantic initiative would be the negotiation of a “EUKUS”, a defense-oriented research alliance between the EU, the US and the UK. A little-noted second “pillar” of AUKUS, the defense deal between Australia, the US and the UK, entails collaboration on advanced technologies, such as artificial intelligence, quantum systems, and hypersonic missiles.




Stefan Fölster är docent i nationalekonomi och leder tankesmedjan Better Future Economics. Han har tidigare varit adj. professor i nationalekonomi vid KTH, chefekonom vid Svenskt Näringsliv och VD för Handelns Utredningsinstitut.