Second Special Issue

Special Issue on ‘The Geo-economic Turn of the European Single Market’

Editors: C. Damro, S. Eckert and A. Herranz-Surrallés


For decades the deepening and widening of the European Single Market contributed to economic liberalisation within and beyond the EU, becoming an important building block of a globalise economy and the multilateral trading system. As this liberal world order begins to unravel, due to changing global power balances and the resulting “geopoliticisation” of international economic relations, the Single Market is also confronted with new challenges. On the one hand, faced with the rise of China and its state capitalist model, the EU has pledged to more forcefully use its market and regulatory power to uphold the reciprocity and level playing field of the emerging system. On the other hand, the growing tendency by major powers to “weaponize” economic interdependencies – a dynamic that has visibly come to the fore in the context of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February 2022 – has also prompted the EU to reconsider its dependency on global value chains. The EU is thus faced with the dilemma of having to protect the internal market, intensify its industrial policy and reduce strategic dependencies, while at the same time continuing to advocate for an open global economy.

The second academic Special Issue developed by JMN VISTA seeks to better understand and explain how the EU deals with this tension by examining the impact of the rising “geo-economic order” on the European Single Market and the EU’s regulatory capacity, focusing on key areas such as the EU financial, energy, digital or defence single market. To that aim, the Special Issue examines the extent to which different areas of the Single Market are becoming geopoliticised, and with what consequences for the EU policy practice and global economic interactions. Geopoliticisation can be defined as “the discursive construction of an issue as a geopolitical problem”. In the area of economic relations, Meunier and Nicolaïdis used the term more widely to characterize “the external face of economic statecraft whereby trade policies come to be embedded in power rivalries”, while emphasizing also its more linguistic aspects, noting the ascendancy of the “language of economic battlefields and trade warfare”. Geopoliticisation thus allows examining both the material, political and discursive dynamics leading actors to perceive economic and regulatory policies through the lens of geopolitics, as well as the practical consequences of such a move.


The collection of articles in this Special Issue is currently under academic peer review.

Read more about the authors in the network here.

Funded by the European Union. Views and opinions expressed are however those of the author(s) only and do not necessarily reflect those of the European Union or the European Education and Culture Executive Agency (EACEA). Neither the European Union nor EACEA can be held responsible for them.