Appreciation of strategic thinking: The President of the Commission acknowledges the long-term, strategic thinking of the person he/she is addressing, particularly in terms of promoting a common European strategic culture and defence.
Importance of strategic thinking in Europe: Emphasises the need for strategic thinking in Europe, particularly in addressing challenges such as the economic vision for the 2030s, growth strategies and the impact of climate change.
European Green Deal: The European Green Deal is highlighted as Europe’s roadmap for tackling climate change. It is described as both a challenge and a growth strategy, especially in the face of the pandemic, Russia’s war on Ukraine and global shifts such as the clean tech race.
Reflecting on the launch of the European Green Deal: Reflects on the launch of the European Green Deal three years ago, noting that it was a bold step towards decarbonising and digitising the European economy. von Der Leyen notes Europe’s leadership in this area, despite global challenges.
Progress and global shifts: Discusses the progress made under the European Green Deal and acknowledges the shift in global attitudes towards climate change, particularly with the United States rejoining the Paris Agreement and launching its own climate initiatives.
Inflation Reduction Act and European concerns: The US Inflation Reduction Act is mentioned, highlighting its similarities to the European Green Deal, but also raising concerns about potential unfair competition and its impact on European industry.
Europe’s response and adaptation: The speech emphasises the need for Europe to adapt its own policies, including state aid rules and financing mechanisms, to maintain competitiveness and respond to global changes.
Transatlantic cooperation and competition: The importance of cooperation with the US is underlined, as is the need for healthy competition to drive innovation and efficiency in clean energy technologies.
Challenges and opportunities for Europe: The speech concludes with the need for Europe to address challenges such as supply chain disruptions, energy prices and competition, while seizing opportunities for cooperation and leadership in the clean tech race.

The importance of strategic thinking is highlighted in several key aspects of the document:

This document presents strategic thinking as essential for shaping Europe’s future in a number of areas, including climate change policy, economic strategy, defence, diplomacy and global cooperation. It serves as a guide for Europe to navigate the complex challenges and opportunities of the 21st century.

Long-term vision for Europe: The need for strategic thinking in shaping Europe’s long-term goals is emphasised, in particular in defining Europe’s strategic objectives, envisioning its economy in the 2030s and setting out a growth strategy. This forward-looking perspective is crucial for Europe to effectively navigate and adapt to future challenges.
Tackling climate change as a key strategy: Strategic thinking is underlined in the context of tackling climate change, which is presented as the most existential challenge facing Europe. The European Green Deal, as a strategic response to this challenge, serves as a blueprint for sustainable growth and climate action.
Anticipating and adapting to global change: The document highlights the need for Europe to anticipate and adapt to global shifts, such as the evolving position of other powers on climate issues (e.g. the US rejoining the Paris Agreement) and the introduction of key policies such as the US Inflation Reduction Act. Strategic thinking is crucial to respond to these changes in a way that maintains Europe’s global leadership and competitiveness.
Integrating strategic thinking into crisis management: The mention of the speaker’s past experience in crisis management underlines the integration of strategic thinking even in immediate crisis scenarios. This approach ensures that long-term objectives are not overshadowed by short-term challenges.
Implications for European defence and diplomacy: The reference to a common European defence and the European Diplomatic Academy suggests that strategic thinking is also essential in shaping Europe’s approach to defence and foreign policy, preparing future diplomats to navigate a complex international landscape.
Economic strategy and innovation: Strategic thinking is crucial in guiding Europe’s economic strategy, particularly in the transition to a decarbonised and digitalised economy. This includes investing in clean technologies, adapting state aid frameworks and ensuring a level playing field in international trade and industry.

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