The European Union executive on Tuesday launched its bid to convince the bloc's 27 member states to agree to stronger controls on exports and outflows of technologies that could be put to military use by rivals like China.
The European Commission sees exporting and sharing critical new innovations like artificial intelligence and quantum computing as a potential security risk, as it could allow know-how to leak to "countries of concern" looking to use them for military applications.
It is set to present its European Economic Security Strategy, laying out its proposals to tackle the risks, on Tuesday. It wants to see stronger export controls and screening of outbound investments for a list of key technologies, according to a draft seen by Reuters on Monday.
The presentation of the strategy marks the start of the commission's efforts to convince EU nations to back its proposals ahead of a debate on relations with China at an EU leaders summit in Brussels on July 29-30.
But nations will be reluctant to relinquish their powers to grant export licences and weigh security interests.
A diplomat of one EU country said it would be a challenge to agree on what the risks were in the first place, let alone whether fresh measures were needed.
"Only then can we have a clear view of possible gaps that might require new instruments," the diplomat said.
Germany, which hosted Chinese Premier Li Qiang on Tuesday, is mulling a new, tougher China strategy, even though China is Germany's largest trading partner and a key market for German companies to export goods and procure materials.
The EU paper does not name China, but stresses partnering with like-minded countries and uses the phrase "de-risking", its policy of reducing economic reliance on China.
The EU strategy document comes just after the US, which has pressured the EU to adopt its firmer stance towards Beijing, sought to stabilise the intense rivalry during a rare visit to Beijing by US Secretary of State Antony Blinken.