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European Commission

Strategic Foresight Report

Original Language: 
Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Wednesday, September 8, 2021
Abstract in English: 
The European Union is charting a strategic path to becoming the first climate-neutral continent by 2050, grasping the opportunities of the digital age, building an economy that works for people, promoting the European way of life, strengthening our unique brand of responsible global leadership, and nurturing, protecting and strengthening our democracy. Openness, as well as rules-based international and multilateral cooperation, are strategic choices. They stimulate prosperity, fairness, stability, competitiveness and dynamism within the EU and beyond. The history of the European project demonstrates the benefits of well-managed interdependence and open strategic autonomy based on shared values, cohesion, strong multilateral governance and rules-based cooperation. The pandemic has only strengthened the case for international cooperation to address global challenges. This 2021 Strategic Foresight Report presents a forward-looking and multi-disciplinary perspective on the EU’s capacity and freedom to act in the coming decades. Based on an expert-led, cross-sectoral foresight process, it presents global trends, uncertainties and choices that will shape Europe’s future. The report provides the context for possible policy responses. It builds on the 2020 Strategic Foresight Report, which introduced resilience as a new compass for EU policymaking. Section II identifies important structural global trends towards 2050 that will affect the EU’s capacity and freedom to act: climate change and other environmental challenges; digital hyperconnectivity and technological transformations; pressure on democracy and values; shifts in the global order and demography. Section III sets out ten areas in which the EU could strengthen its open strategic autonomy and global leadership. The report stresses that the EU’s future capacity and freedom to act will depend on whether the EU is able to make ambitious choices today, guided by its values and interests, across the identified policy areas.
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19
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State of the Union 2021

Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Wednesday, September 15, 2021
Abstract in English: 
In her State of the Union address on 15 September 2021, President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen outlined flagship initiatives which the Commission plans to undertake in the coming year. They will among others include:
- Continuing the vaccination efforts in Europe and speeding up vaccination globally, as well as strengthening the pandemic preparedness
- Working on closing the climate finance gap, together with our global partners
- Leading the digital transformation that will create jobs and drive competitiveness, while ensuring technical excellence and security of supply
- Ensuring fairer working conditions and better healthcare, and creating more opportunities for Europe’s youth to benefit from the European social market economy
- Stepping up our cooperation on security and defence, and deepening EU’s partnership with closest allies
- Defending European values and freedoms, and protecting the rule of law
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21
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Global Energy and Climate Outlook 2020: A New Normal Beyond Covid-19

Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Friday, January 1, 2021
Abstract in English: 
This edition of the Global Energy and Climate Outlook (GECO 2020) puts its focus on analysing the impact of the Covid-19 outbreak on the transport sector as a whole. The transport sector has suffered the greatest slump in mobility demand of the history during the lockdown period, while the oil price has plummeted. This report explores the impacts of transport activity trends that may persist in the future from the structural changes induced by the Covid-19 pandemic, as well as of policy initiatives that may be adopted as enabling measures for low-carbon transport. While greenhouse gas emissions in this “New Normal” differ significantly compared to previous projections, the emissions gap towards a 2°C pathway is closed only by some 29%, thereby stressing the need of more ambitious collective action to maintaining global temperature change to well below 2°C.
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80
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The future of work? Work of the future!

Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Friday, May 3, 2019
Abstract in English: 
We are used to thinking about artificial intelligence (AI) in the future tense, speculating how technological developments in this area will affect us. But if we spend too much time trying to figure out what to expect in the future, we risk not seeing that AI and robotisation have already started transforming our daily lives.
While historical evidence suggests that previous waves of automation have been overwhelmingly positive for the economy and society, AI is in a different league, with the potential to be much more disruptive. It builds upon other digital technologies but also brings about and amplifies major socioeconomic changes of its own.
What do recent technological developments in AI and robotisation mean for the economy, businesses and jobs? Should we be worried or excited? Which jobs will be destroyed and which new ones created? What should education systems, businesses, governments and social partners do to manage the coming transition successfully?
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160
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Preparing for a more united, stronger and more democratic Union in an increasingly uncertain world

Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Thursday, May 9, 2019
Abstract in English: 
On 9 May 2019, EU leaders will meet in Sibiu, Romania, to reflect on our Union’s political aspirations and prepare the ‘strategic agenda’ for the next five years. They will do so on the eve of the European Parliament elections where more than 400 million Europeans will take to the polls in the world’s largest transnational democratic exercise. They will do so thirty years after the end of communism and the fall of the Berlin Wall and fifteen years after the unprecedented enlargement of our Union, which overcame our continent’s painful division.
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The Future of Government 2030+ - A Citizen Centric Perspective on New Government Models

Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Friday, March 1, 2019
Abstract in English: 
The Future of Government 2030+: A Citizen Centric Perspective on New Government Models project brings citizens to the centre of the scene. The objective of this project is to explore the emerging societal challenges, analyse trends in a rapidly changing digital world and launch an EU-wide debate on the possible future government models. To address this, citizen engagement, foresight and design are combined, with recent literature from the field of digital politics and media as a framework. The main research question of the project is: How will citizens, together with other actors, shape governments, policies and democracy in 2030 and beyond? Throughout the highly participatory process, more than 150 citizens, together with CSO, think tank, business and public sector representatives, as well as 100 design students participated in the creation of future scenarios and concepts. Four scenarios have been created using the 20 stories emerged from citizen workshops. They served as an inspiration for design students to develop 40 FuturGov concepts. Through the FuturGov Engagement Game, the project’s ambition is to trigger and launch a debate with citizens, businesses, civil society organizations, policy-makers and civil servants in Europe.
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102
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Global trends of methane emissions and their impacts on ozone concentrations

Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Monday, October 29, 2018
Abstract in English: 
Methane is a greenhouse gas and air pollutant producing health damaging tropospheric ozone. By 2050 in Europe 6,000 to 11,000 ozone-related premature deaths can be avoided per year (worldwide 70,000 to 130,000) when implementing ambitious methane reduction strategies worldwide. This works informs Europe’s forthcoming methane strategy.
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101
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Trust at Risk: Implications for EU Policies and Institutions

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Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Wednesday, February 1, 2017
Abstract in English: 
Using a foresight approach, this volume makes a major contribution to better understanding the disruptive effects that an erosion or collapse of trust could have for Europe: for its science, for its political and justice systems, for the regulation of economic activities, social cohesion, for public administrations and for the Internet and cyberspace in general. Its chapters elaborate not only on the potential disruptions, but also on possible policy responses to counteract a further loss of societal trust.
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198
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A New Horizon for Europe

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Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Thursday, July 26, 2018
Abstract in English: 
This impact assessment accompanies the Commission proposal for Horizon Europe, the 2021-2027 EU Framework Programme for Research and Innovation, which will succeed the current Programme, Horizon 2020 (active between 2014-2020), and the proposal for the 2021-2025 Research and Training Programme of the European Atomic Energy Community (Euratom Programme). The evolution from Horizon 2020 is reflected in the revamped structure. The three-pillar structure will be continued, but redesigned for more coherence, both between and within pillars, in support of the Programme objectives.
Pillar 1 - Open Science will continue to focus on excellent science and high-quality knowledge to strengthen EU’s science base.
Pillar 2 - Global Challenges and Industrial Competitiveness will better address EU policy priorities and support industrial competitiveness by integrating the Horizon 2020 Societal Challenges and Leadership in Enabling Industrial Technologies into five clusters (i.e. Health; Resilience and Security; Digital and Industry;Climate, Energy and Mobility; and Food and natural resources).
Pillar 3 – Open Innovation will offer a one-stop shop for high-potential innovators with the European Innovation Council and increase cooperation with innovation ecosystems and actors.
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388
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Shaping the Future of Geopolitics

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Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Monday, November 20, 2017
Abstract in English: 
In today’s turbulent world, where governments and international organisations are increasingly faced with more uncertainty and volatility, this year’s event will zoom into emerging challenges and opportunities relevant to the European Union, highlighting the importance of strategic foresight and anticipatory governance in policy- and decision-making.
Forward-looking approaches are all the more important in a world of ‘Geopolitical Recession’, where multilateralism and the rules-based international order are under pressure, and new actors and technologies have the potential to be real geostrategic game changers. Against this backdrop, how can Europe ensure that it holds its future in its own hands? What must it do to better prepare for an uncertain future and tackle new security challenges?
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92
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