09 Sep 2020
EC releases first Strategic Foresight Report
On 9 September 2020, the European Commission adopted its first-ever Strategic Foresight Report, aiming to identify emerging challenges and opportunities to better steer the EU's strategic choices. According to the EC, strategic foresight will inform major policy initiatives and support the Commission in designing future-proof policies and legislation. The 2020 Report also introduces a comprehensive concept of EU resilience. In light of the ambitious Recovery Plan for Europe, the 2020 Strategic Foresight Report considers EU resilience in four dimensions: social and economic, geopolitical, green, and digital. For each dimension, the report identifies the capacities, vulnerabilities and opportunities revealed by the coronavirus crisis, which need to be addressed in the medium- to long-term.
The EC intends to mainstream foresight by:
- systematically conducting foresight exercises for all major policy initiatives;
- publishing forward-looking, annual Strategic Foresight reports, analysing emerging trends and challenges to inform its policy and decision-making;
- supporting the development of foresight capacities in EU and Member State administrations; and
- building a collaborative and inclusive foresight community with EU and international institutions and partners.
The EC is planning the following next steps:
- The 2020 Strategic Foresight Report and its successors will inform Commission President von der Leyen's annual State of the Union addresses and Commission Work Programmes. They will also feed into the forthcoming inter-institutional negotiations on our first-ever multiannual programming.
- The overarching Strategic Foresight agenda will chart EU political priorities and key initiatives in Commission Work Programmes, as well as major cross-cutting issues: such as the EU's open strategic autonomy for a new global order; the future potential of green jobs and required skills; and the intersections of the green and digital transitions across policies.
- The annual European Strategy and Political Analysis System (ESPAS) conference in November 2020 will offer the opportunity to discuss the topic of next year's Strategic Foresight Report and launch an EU-wide Foresight Network.
- The development of shared reference foresight scenarios to inform future policy debate, to ensure coherence across policies, and to serve as a shared, forward‑looking framework for policy proposals. This can also feed into the Conference on the Future of Europe.
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