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Open Strategic Autonomy


The financial independence and autonomy of Europe remain a centerpiece to preserve the European way of life and values, especially in light of the changing world order.

The concept of EU autonomy has emerged as a key policy objective of the EU to protect the European way of life. It has progressively expanded from the security and defense dimension to many other areas, such as energy, healthcare and, with the UK exiting the EU, to financial services, although the dollar is the international benchmark currency and dollar liquidity is key to financial stability.

This concept of autonomy highlights a key question: can our continent be satisfied with being an importer of financial services developed and produced outside the EU or should it build some form of strategic autonomy in finance? The real challenge is whether the EU financial system is agile and powerful enough to back the most EU promising entrepreneurs and businesses, to invest in the rest of the world, to deliver attractive returns to savers and to remain at the frontier of innovation. Indeed, 10 years after the creation of the Banking Union and 7 years after the launch of the first CMU initiative, European banking and capital markets remain fragmented within the EU.

The policy tools available to develop EU financial autonomy, range from the improvement of the attractiveness of EU financial landscape, the integration of banking and capital markets, the capacity to set up EU Own standards, the necessary common efforts to develop EU specific infrastructures or reinforce EU players, to competition and trade policies. The EU private sector also have an important role to play as illustrated by the recent European Payments Initiative. Indeed, the convenience of the products supplied is essential to enable the EU citizens to reinforce EU independence.

However, the increasing fragmentation at the global level and the development of the use of the bargain power between jurisdiction, should be clearly taken into account in the development of such policies.

On 19 January 2021, the Commission issued a communication which sets out how the EU can reinforce its open strategic autonomy in the macro-economic and financial fields.

The Council Conclusions on the EU’s economic and financial strategic Autonomy (29 March 2022) recalls that “by building its strategic autonomy in an open economy, the EU’s goal is, in particular, to ensure the resilience of its economy and preserve its capacity to protect and develop its economic and financial interests”.

The Council reiterated that such a strategy rests on several important and mutually dependent approaches. Among these are the following three key pillars:

  • Securing a stronger international role of the euro including through a stronger and deeper Economic and Monetary Union as well as promoting the use of the euro and euro-denominated instruments globally.
  • Ensuring the resilience of the financial sector so as to serve the real economy including through the completion of the Banking union and the deepening of the Capital Markets Union, while reducing excessive reliance on third-country financial institutions and infrastructures where financial stability risks could emerge.
  • Protecting the EU economic and financial system against the effects of the extra-territorial application of third country sanctions and other harmful practices, in addition to maintaining a well-functioning own EU sanctions regime.

Eurofi documents

Extracted from the main Eurofi publications (Regulatory Updates, Views Magazines and Conference Summaries)

Eurofi Views Magazine chapters

Open strategic autonomy in the economic and financial areas - February 2024 new

Markus Ferber - European Parliament | Gintarė Skaistė - Minister of Finance of the Republic of Lithuania | Harald Waiglein - Federal Ministry of Finance, Austria | Philippe Bordenave - BNP Paribas | Lieve Mostrey - Euroclear S.A. | Vittorio Grilli - J.P. Morgan | Odile Renaud-Basso - European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD)

Open strategic autonomy and EU economic security - September 2023

John Berrigan - European Commission | Magdalena Rzeczkowska - Minister of Finance, Poland | Anikó Túri - Ministry for Economic Development of Hungary | Emmanuel Moulin - Ministry of the Economy, Finance and Industrial and Digital Sovereignty, France | Pedro Castro e Almeida - Banco Santander | Vittorio Grilli - JP Morgan | Stéphane Boujnah - Euronext

European open strategic autonomy - September 2022

Irene Tinagli - European Parliament | Vitorio Grilli - J.P. Morgan | Emmanuel Moulin - Ministry of the Economy, Finance and the Recovery Plan, France | Franco Passacantando - EUROCLEAR SA | Gediminas Šimkus - Bank of Lithuania | Stéphane Boujnah - Euronext Paris

Europe’s sovereignty is a core objective for the French Presidency of the EU - February 2022

B. Le Maire - Minister of the Economy, Finance and the Recovery Plan, France

Open strategic autonomy: implications for finance - February 2022

Emmanuel Moulin - Ministry of the Economy, Finance and the Recovery Plan, France | John Berrigan - European Commission | Florian Toncar - Federal Ministry of Finance, Germany | Markus Ferber - European Parliament | Stéphane Boujnah - Euronext | Fabrizio Campelli - Deutsche Bank Group

Should financial sovereignty be a key objective for the EU? - September 2020

Harald Waiglein - Federal Ministry of Finance, Austria | Sylvie Goulard - Banque de France | Stéphane Boujnah - Euronext | Jacques Beyssade - Groupe BPCE | Christian Edelmann - Oliver Wyman | Alban Schmutz - OVH

Together for Europe’s recovery - September 2020

O. Scholz - Federal Minister of Finance and Vice Chancellor, Germany