The European Union is set to evaluate potential risks posed by the semiconductor, artificial intelligence, quantum technology, and biotechnology industries to the political block’s economic security. The assessment may result in restrictions on exports and investments in third countries, with a particular focus on countries such as China.
The European Commission announced this initiative as part of the European Economic Security Strategy, initially identifying four technologies and planning to investigate six more later. The EU’s objective is to prevent the misuse of these technologies in military applications or human rights abuses by countries of concern, reported Reuters.
Before implementing any measures, the Commission will collaborate with its 27 member states and consult with companies to conduct a comprehensive risk assessment. Responses may involve encouraging investments or establishing partnerships to reduce dependencies. Notably, the assessment will not target specific third countries but rather emphasize a country-agnostic approach. Nevertheless, geopolitical factors will be considered to gauge the severity of risks.
The selected technologies include advanced semiconductor technologies (microelectronics and chip-making equipment), AI (data analytics and object recognition), quantum technology (cryptography, communications, and sensing), and biotechnology (genetic modifications and new genomic techniques). Additional technology risk assessments may be proposed in early 2024.
The EU’s efforts align with similar initiatives by the United States, Japan, Britain, and Australia to safeguard their technological interests.