Computer and bioprocesses in focus; list also includes raw material extraction and processing.
The European Commission wants to subject technologies crucial to economic security to an intensive risk assessment. Advanced semiconductor technologies, artificial intelligence, quantum technologies, and biotechnologies like genetic engineering are particularly critical. According to a press release, these areas were selected, among other reasons, because they can be used for civilian and military purposes. According to the EU Commission’s recommendation, the member states must now examine the risks in the sectors above by the year’s end. The Commission’s list (PDF) covers ten categories, including technologies for extracting, processing, and recycling of critical raw materials.
Europe wants to “adapt to the new geopolitical realities” and “act as a geopolitical power,” said Thierry Breton, EU commissioner for internal market and services. Although not explicitly mentioned, the plan will likely be directed primarily at China. The country is steadily expanding its international influence, which has prompted the U.S., among others, to take measures such as an export ban on cutting-edge semiconductor chips. It is not yet clear what steps the EU will take after the announced review.