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Home Past events Strategic Autonomy – What does it mean?

Strategic Autonomy – What does it mean?

EU’s strategic autonomy and sovereignty have become ‘buzzwords’ in the past years with the EU seeking to promote more independence at times of growing geopolitical competition – whether in its industrial, supply chain or defence policies or when it comes to its tech-oriented and financial services policies. European Council President Charles Michel called European strategic autonomy the ‘new common project for this century’

EU Member States still do not agree to what levels of ambition should strategic autonomy be pursued or how would the concept of strategic autonomy be defined. However, especially in the wake of the COVID-19 crisis, all agree that the EU should develop more capabilities. The Commission, France and Germany and others have been arguing that the EU needs its own strategic infrastructure and technological knowledge to be able to compete for the next step in innovation. The German Presidency aims to adopt Council conclusions on this important subject before the end of the year.

The quest towards more strategic autonomy is feeding through to a number of initiatives focusing the EU for what many perceive as a new era of heightened geopolitical competition. In the technology space, discussions around data localisation or European cloud federations prevail, along with channelling investments into the next generation of technologies. In financial services, the discussions currently focus on payments – whether it is about strengthening the international role of the euro, launching a new European payment system or adopting regulation to limit non-European tech player entrance into the financial services space in Europe.

This webinar aims to explore what strategic autonomy might and should mean and how it might apply to the financial services and tech sectors.

The event is finished.


26 Oct 2020


4:00 pm - 5:00 pm
Linda Strazdina


Linda Strazdina

Senior Consultant and Head of Technology Practice


  • Axel Voss
    Axel Voss
    Member of the European Parliament (EPP, Germany)

    Axel Voss was born in 1963 in Hameln, Germany. After completing his studies of law in Trier, Munich, Freiburg and Paris with a focus on European and International Law, he worked as an assistant in the UN Department of Technical Co-operation for Development in New York from 1990-1991 and became a lawyer in 1994. Mr Voss held the position of a citizen advisor of the European Commission in the Representation of the Federal Republic of Germany in Bonn from 1994 until 2000, followed by eight years of work as a lecturer for European Affairs at the RheinAhrCampus in Remagen, which belongs to the University of Koblenz. Before his first election as Member of the European Parliament in 2009, Axel Voss had already entered politics in the late 1990s when becoming a member of the German Christian Democrats (CDU) in 1996. During the past decade, he has been holding various positions in regional district associations of the CDU. After his election to the European Parliament in 2009, Mr Voss became, among others, member of the Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs, substitute member of the Committee on Legal Affairs and the Committee on Petitions as well as Vice-Chair in the Delegation for relations with Australia and New Zealand. Re-elected as a Member of the European Parliament in 2014, Mr Voss became Vice-Chair of the Committee on Legal Affairs, substitute member of the Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs and was confirmed as Vice-Chair in the Delegation for relations with Australia and New Zealand. Since 2017 he is also elected Speaker of the EPP group for the Committee on Legal Affairs. Re-elected for his third period as Member of the European Parliament in 2019, he was confirmed in all his positions in the different committees, as well as the delegations. This year, the new Special Committee on Artificial Intelligence in a Digital Age was established, where Mr. Voss became also a member. During his first legislative term as MEP, European Data Protection has become a central element of his parliamentary work. He especially focuses on the Data Protection Regulation and the revision of the Data Protection Directive, the PNR dossiers, the NSA Inquiry Committee and European criminal law. During the second legislative term, he put a focus on the reform of the EU copyright law, as he became rapporteur on this subject. In his third period, he was elected as rapporteur on the civil liability for technologies based on artificial intelligence. Because of this new task Mr. Voss focusses thematically on the whole topic of artificial intelligence. Following his report, he is now, since September 2020, also rapporteur of the Special Committee on Artificial Intelligence. He engages now especially on creating a European, a third way of digitization and developing a European digital single market.

  • Jean-Pierre Vidal
    Jean-Pierre Vidal
    Chief Economic Advisor to Charles Michel, President of the European Council.

    Jean-Pierre Vidal is Chief Economic Advisor to Charles Michel, President of the European Council. Until December 2019 he headed the Policy and Strategy Division in the Economics Department of the European Investment Bank. He was Counsellor to the Executive Board of the European Central Bank from September 2016 to June 2019. He previously was Chief Economic Advisor to European Council President Donald Tusk, and a member of the cabinet of the first permanent President of the European Council, Herman Van Rompuy. He held several positions at the European Central Bank: Head of the ECB Representative Office in Brussels (2011-2012), Deputy Head of the Monetary Policy Strategy Division (2007-2011), and Head of the Fiscal Analysis Section (2004-2007). Before joining the ECB as economist in 2000, he worked as senior researcher at the ‘Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique’ (CNRS). Jean-Pierre holds an MBA from ESSEC business school (‘Ecole Supérieure des Sciences Economiques et Commerciales’) and a Ph.D. in economics from the University of Cambridge.

  • Lie Junius
    Lie Junius
    Director for Government Affairs and Public Policy EMEA, Google Cloud

    Lie Junius is currently the Director for Government Affairs and Public Policy for Google Cloud in EMEA. Lie joined Google in November 2015 when she was appointed the Director of Public Policy and Government Relations in Brussels for the EU institutions. She has more than twenty years of European and international public affairs experience. Before Google, Lie led Government Affairs and Communications in EMEA for Goodyear Dunlop from 2008. Previously, Lie was Senior Vice President of Government Relations for ABN Amro Bank and worked as a manager in the Government Affairs Team of General Motors Europe. Lie holds a Master’s Degree in Political Sciences from the Catholic University of Leuven and a Master’s Degree in Advanced European Studies from the College of Europe in Bruges.

  • Matthias Bauer
    Matthias Bauer
    Senior Economist, European Centre for International Political Economy (ECIPE)

    Matthias Bauer is Senior Economist at ECIPE. His research focus includes international trade and investment, the economics of digital markets and the digital economy, European Single Market integration, European fiscal affairs and capital market policy. Matthias studied business administration at the University of Hull, UK, and economics at the Friedrich Schiller University Jena, Germany. He received his Ph.D. degree after joining the Bundesbank graduate programme on the ‘Foundations of Global Financial Markets and Financial Stability’. Before joining ECIPE, Matthias held positions at DekaBank, UBS, Mercedes-Benz China, and worked as a start-up and business development consultant.

  • Roeland Van der Stappen
    Roeland Van der Stappen
    Head of Regulatory Affairs for Europe, VISA

    Roeland Van der Stappen is Head of Regulatory Affairs for Europe at Visa since November 2018. Based in Brussels, he coordinates Visa Europe’s approach to EU regulatory and policy discussions, shaping outreach and advocacy strategy in Brussels and in the region.
    Roeland has been working in the financial sector for more than 10 years. Prior to joining Visa, Roeland served as Vice President of Government Policy and Public Relations at Barclays. In that role, he has been an active contributor on digital banking/ FinTech issues in various EU trade associations and platforms.