The Geopolitics of Food
On March 22, HCSS, the Institut francais des Pays-Bas and the Embassy of the Netherlands in Paris have the pleasure to invite you to an online seminar to reflect on the geopolitical pressure on the Agri-food sector, focusing on strategies of France and the Netherlands, and explore response options both at the national and European level.
France, the Netherlands and the European Union (EU) are linked to other countries through global value chains. This connection is undeniably in our interests. We owe a large part of our prosperity to our favorable business climate, cross-border capital flows, the European internal market and trade with third countries. A significant part of our gross domestic product is earned through the export of goods and services. French and Dutch companies have access to the necessary raw materials and semi-finished products including agricultural products through international trade. Free trade is a prerequisite for our prosperity and security. That global interconnectedness and mutual interdependence leads to prosperity and security has long been regarded as a fact. Unfortunately, we are witnessing a disturbing trend of the weaponizing of trade agreements, raw materials, and market access. Nowadays, dependencies are increasingly seen as a tool for geopolitical coercion. Dependencies are rapidly becoming means of pressure, or even blackmail, towards other countries. By putting the supply of energy, raw materials and access to markets at risk, this can pose a potential risk to our economic and political interests.
So, what to do with this increased geopolitical pressure? Can we reduce our dependencies? Should we turn our trade agreements and exports into coercive instruments as well? This seminar will focus on the geopolitics of agrifood. The sector is in turmoil. It must adapt to new environmental requirements. At the same time, it is considered by the EU as a crucial industrial ecosystem. How vulnerable is this ecosystem? Should it be used to create dependencies with third countries aimed at defending our interests, values and influencing the behaviour of the target state. And which steps must be taken to contribute to the construction of a strong EU open to the world and protective of its interests?
This seminar will reflect on these questions and at the same time take a closer look at the strategy France (2019) and The Netherlands has developed to tackle these challenges both at the national and European level.“
The panel will reflect on the geopolitical pressure on the various themes and dossiers, and finally, explore response options both at the national and European level.
· Pieter de Gooijer, Dutch Ambassador to France
· Prof. dr. Rob de Wijk, Founder of The Hague Centre for Strategic Studies
· Sébastien Abis, Associate Research Fellow, The French Institute for International and Strategic Affairs, and Director of Club Demeter
· Dr. Marion Jansen, Director of the Trade and Agriculture Directorate, OECD
· Prof. Jochem Wiers, Economic Resilience and Security Coordinator, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, The Netherlands
· Michel Rademaker MTL, Deputy Executive Director and co-founder (HCSS)