The concept of European “digital sovereignty” has been promoted in recent years both by high officials of the European Union and by EU national governments. Indeed, France made strengthening sovereignty one of the goals of its recent presidency in the EU Council.
The approach taken thus far both by the EU and by national authorities has been not to exclude foreign businesses, but instead to focus on research and development funding for European projects. Unfortunately, there are worrying signs that this more measured approach is beginning to be replaced by ill-conceived moves toward economic protectionism, ostensibly justified by national-security and personal-privacy concerns.
In this context, it is worth reconsidering why Europeans’ best interests are best served not by economic isolationism, but by an understanding of sovereignty that capitalizes on alliances with other free democracies.