Economic sovereignty, the new Holy Grail

Half a century after globalization, the last few years have led us to another world. Since the financial crisis, the original virtue of external liberalization has been replaced by less intense globalization. The pandemic is on the rise, the conflict with Russia is heading in the same direction, and the government is now demanding more “economic sovereignty.” At the European level, we talk about “strategic autonomy.”

Globalization is overkill

In fact, globalization is overkill. After ignoring the problem, economists began to recognize it. Yes, opening up to the financial breeze can carry the economy away. Yes, uncontrolled opening to emerging markets is destroying employment, destroying territory and increasing inequality. But keep in mind that importing low-cost products can lower prices and restore purchasing power. Indeed, however, research is beginning to show that the richest people benefit from price cuts as much as the poorest, and ultimately inequality is there.

An economy that relies too much on foreign sources for certain key products can endanger its very existence.

The last few years have also shown that an economy that relies too much on a particular major product for a particular country can endanger its very existence. The financial crisis, the tsunami, the pandemic, the war at the European Gate, or the simple boats stuck in the Suez Canal, the shortages are medicines, semiconductors, raw materials, etc., and prices are skyrocketing.

Now is the time for political response. But their motives are very different. For Trump and others, this is an opportunity to blame foreigners and promote strong protective trade principles. Wrong answer. For the government, it is an opportunity to tell their members that we are protecting them and that we want to revitalize the industry. Our organization is at the same time united while being content with the financial crutches that are supposed to organize social protection reductions and guarantee competitiveness. It’s time for employer unions to secure even more tax cuts, the destruction of the welfare state, and public procurement for state-owned enterprises by expelling foreign competitors, all in the name of sovereignty. I understood that.

Conditions of economic sovereignty

For Europe, in the conflict between the United States and China, it’s time for us to find a place that is more theater than an actor and free Russia from its dependence on gas. Even Germany finally understood it. This causes problems for the entire European Union.

But all the talk about the need to relocate some activities is not enough to win the battle for sovereignty. Being sovereign at the economic level means being able to define the rules of the game you have to follow, and being powerful means imposing your own rules on others. The United States can do that, China wants it more and more. You can’t do it in France alone. Europe, which has already dropped, by trying to enact some rules (access to chemicals, GDPR of the platform, etc.), like those who think it is enough to be able to cross the pedestrian crossing. I’m trying to limit the damage. highway.

However, all countries, including the United States, believe that multinationals are challenging economic sovereignty. By rejecting Facebook’s cryptocurrencies, they have shown that they can react. This is the path to financial independence. A highly regulated company that is socially and climatically responsible and pays taxes within the framework of supervised and limited funding.