Außenansicht des D2 Gebäudes

IRES – Increasing resilience and security of supply and production post-COVID-19: from global to regional value chains?

Research field: Cities in the Context of European Integration and Globalisation

The COVID-19 pandemic has exposed the fragility of global production processes, e.g., as regards medical goods and pharmaceuticals. Reports on supply shortages for facemasks, protective gear and respirators abound, while governments and public bodies in the EU are struggling to secure the quantities of these goods required for public health systems to stay operational. Against this background, calls for geographically more diversified production chains and for more local production intensify and security of supply concerns regain in importance vis-à-vis efficiency and cost considerations. Both the sectoral coverage and the instruments applied to support such a reorganisation of production remain however contested. While some commentators actively promote across-the-board de-globalisation of production in the aftermath of the COVID-19 crisis, others argue for a more nuanced approach according to the strategic importance of a sector, involving a mix of policy instruments including local production, tighter mandatory storage policies, public procurement conditionalities for companies to diversify their sourcing strategies, etc.

The aim of the project is twofold. Firstly, the project aims to gain a deeper and more systematic understanding of the contemporary organisation of production at the international level. This includes an analysis of the transformation of global production processes case studies on global value chains for specific pharmaceutical and medical goods as well as an analysis of current legal obligations as regards international trade and localization policies. On this basis, the project, secondly, aims to identify legally sound strategies to increase regionalization, resilience and security of supplies post-COVID-19. In this context, the project analyzes a variety of tools and strategies, including subsidies, strategic procurement and strategic stockpiling in light of relevant EU and domestic law. The project is carried out in cooperation with the Austrian Foundation of Development Research (ÖFSE, overall project lead).

WU Project Lead: Univ.Prof. Dr. Verena Madner, Dr. Stefan Mayr, LL.M.

Funding: Austrian Chamber of Labour

Duration: 01.06.2020 – 31.12.2021