Strategic sovereignty: how can Europe survive Biden’s presidency

The event will convene a high-level group of Italian decision-makers and opinion shapers across government, business, media and the expert community as well as member of ECFR Council

, Berlin time (CET, UTC+1)

European countries are increasingly vulnerable to external pressure that prevents them from exercising their sovereignty. This vulnerability threatens the European Union’s security, economic health, and diplomatic freedom of action, allowing other powers to impose their preferences on it. To prosper and maintain their independence in a world of geopolitical competition, Europeans must address the interlinked security and economic challenges other powerful states present – without withdrawing their support for a rules-based order and the transatlantic alliance. This means creating a new idea of “strategic sovereignty”, as well as establishing institutions and empowering individuals that see strategic sovereignty as part of their identity and in their own interest. Most fundamentally, the EU needs to learn to think like a geopolitical power.

The results of US elections have already put many cards on the table as well as several questions marks on how Europe will be able to place itself in the Rival Powers competitions, the US-China one included.


15:00 Welcome remarks by Arturo Varvelli, Head of ECFR Rome office and Senior Policy Fellow

15:10-15:40 Session “Why Joe Biden Needs European Sovereignty


  • Jeremy Shapiro, Research Director, ECFR
  • Armando Barucco, Head of the Unit for Analysis, Planning and Historic Diplomatic Documentation at the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation

Chair: Arturo Varvelli, Head of ECFR Rome office and Senior Policy Fellow.

15:40-15:50 Q&A

15:50-16:20 Session “Europe and the US-China dispute: what’s next?


  • Marta Dassù, Senior Director European Affairs, The Aspen Institute; Editor-in-Chief, Aspenia; ECFR Board Member
  • Filippo Fasulo, Director of the Italy-China Foundation’s Centre on Business Research (CeSIF) and Research Fellow at ISPI

Chair: Alessandro Speciale, Head of Rome Bureau, Bloomberg

16:20-16:30 Q&A