On May 9, 1950, then-French Foreign Minister Robert Schuman presented a plan that became the European Coal and Steel Community in 1952 and, much later, the European Union. The economy was at the center of the founding of the ECSC. And today, too, the economy, the EU's internal market, is one of the most important cornerstones of the European community of states. Today, the economy not only plays an important role internally, but is also a central tool of geopolitics in an increasingly multipolar world. How strong is Europe's footprint in its immediate neighborhood? How do China, the U.S. and Russia compare? Is the EU able to leverage its economic power politically? Our experts have gone through this question in a study. They examined individual sectors, looked at interdependencies and concluded that strength in such an impressive number of areas should also be reflected in political influence.
As unified as Europe should appear to the outside world, it is not as unified internally. There are major differences among individual regions of Europe, both in terms of their overall economic strength and their readiness for digital and green transformation. . In a wide-ranging study, our experts, led by co-authors Thomas Schwab and Nathan Crist, determined the technological capabilities of each individual region for this dual transformation. At the heart of the study is the question of how regions can cooperate with each other to drive forward green and digital innovations. The result: The potential is there, but we need more cross-border cooperation to tap into these opportunities. We have presented this study in recent days at a series of conferences in the capitals of the European Union.