Strengthening Sovereignty in the Era of Global Value Chains Études de l’Ifri, December 2021
How to reduce the vulnerabilities induced by these global value chains to be more independent, while taking into account the reality of these productive processes which precisely generate interdependencies?
The Covid-19 pandemic and several examples of shortages have revealed the fragility of certain supplies based on global value chains. These disruptions, together with certain foreign pressures, have thus awakened ambitions for independence and sovereignty in many countries.
At the same time, these same governments, as well as international bodies and many economists, continue promoting deeper international trade and the integration of value chains. Several trends indeed suggest that it is futile to bet on a possible "de-globalization" to strengthen national or European sovereignty.
Maintaining or strengthening sovereignty therefore requires finding a balance between the gains made possible by optimizing global value chains and the risks of dependence they generate. This study suggests ways to better control these risks and regain sovereignty: identifying and precisely mapping the value chains that underpin strategic capacities and functions; assessing the criticality of these value chains through the assets and supplies they mobilize, and defining plans for securing the most critical value chains; and articulating the role of the different actors: public and private, national and European.
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