In the second half of the 20th century industrial policy played a decisive role to the elevation of several Asian countries (from South Korea to China) to advanced economy status, but it was far less successful in other developing countries (e.g. in Africa and in Latin America). In Europe, more often than not, attempts to save loss-making state-owned enterprises wasted public resources and eventually came to nothing.

Geopolitical tensions and the pursuit of strategic sovereignty have led to a revival of restrictions to free trade, and industrial policy. The 2022 Inflation Reduction Act and CHIPS Act, and the more recent increases of US tariffs on Chinese-made electric cars and other industrial goods, have led to discussions about how the EU should respond. Meanwhile, the relaxation of restrictions to state aid, first in 2020 in response to Covid-19, then in 2022 following the Russian invasion of Ukraine, have led to concerns about the fate of the Single Market.

Our roundtable will discuss a few of the questions at the heart of EU industrial policy. Can the EU and national governments engineer Europe’s reindustrialization? What are the implications for EU competition policy, and trade policy? Does the pursuit of strategic sovereignty not risk delaying the Green Transition? Should policy makers pick ‘national’ or even ‘European champions’)? Can Europe avoid the policy mistakes of the past, the fragmentation of the Single Market, and tit-for-tat tariff wars?


Petros Dimas, Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Laboratory of Industrial and Energy Economics, National Technical University of Athens

Aggelos Tsakanikas, Associate Professor, Laboratory of Industrial and Energy Economics, National Technical University of Athens

Nicholas Vonortas, Professor, George Washington University

Reinhilde Veugelers, Professor, Catholic University of Leuven



Manos Matsaganis, Professor, Polytechnic University of Milan; Senior Research Fellow, ELIAMEP

The invitation is available here.