Home 2030: European strategic assets swallowed by Saudi investments

GEAB 186

The monthly bulletin of LEAP (European Laboratory of Political Anticipation) - 15 Jun 2024

2030: European strategic assets swallowed by Saudi investments

Investments in Europe are on the verge of becoming one of the pillars of Saudi Arabia’s strategy to wean itself off oil revenue. Behind high-profile projects like The Line, we can see a certain rebalancing between the domestic and international aspects of this strategy. While internal investments have long been the most visible and foreign investments more discreet, this trend should soon be reversed for two reasons:

– The reduction of The Line project[1] and a certain return to reason in the internal investment strategy;

– Conversely, an increase in investment in Europe, particularly in strategic areas (energy and technology in particular), in line with the objectives of the Saudi Vision 2030 project. The question is whether this trend could jeopardise the sovereignty of the European states concerned. While some states are showing concern, the need for foreign capital should soon quiet down the rare opposition.

If we speak in terms of States, it is because until now Saudi Arabia has primarily developed bilateral relations with Europeans (Spain, Italy, Croatia, the Netherlands, France, etc.). At European level, relations have until now been more delicate, given the disagreements between the two countries over respect for human rights. However, since 2021, marked by the Ukrainian conflict and the energy crisis, the EU, as both a political and an economic player, has initiated closer relations[2], to such an extent that last May saw the official inauguration of the first “European” Chamber of Commerce in Saudi Arabia[3], paving the way for Saudi investment under European programmes.

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