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EU aims for strategic economic autonomy after COVID pandemic

FILE PHOTO: European Council President Charles Michel gives a news conference following a virtual summit with European leaders to discuss Belarus situation, in Brussels, Belgium August 19, 2020. Olivier Hoslet/Pool via REUTERS

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - The European Union wants to reposition its economy to become more independent from global powers like Asia and the United States in the production medicines and processors, the chairman of EU leaders Charles Michel said on Tuesday.

Speaking at the Brussels Economic Forum, Michel said the strategic independence of the 27-nation bloc in essential products was the EU’s projects for this century.

“Our industrial strategy will foster greater independence and make sure we have access to all the necessary resources to ensure the prosperity of our citizens. This includes, for instance, greater autonomy in producing processors, vital medicines, and other essential products,” Michel said.

France and other EU countries have become worried about supply chains to the European economy after the COVID pandemic has shut down in February many production sites in China which makes 80% of the raw materials for active agents in some drugs, or components for the car industry.

“European strategic autonomy – these are not just words. The strategic independence of Europe is our new common project for this century. It’s in all our common interest. European strategic autonomy is goal number one for our generation,” Michel said.

Reporting by Jan Strupczewski