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ESPAS in Brief - #espas16

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Saturday, October 1, 2016
Abstract in English: 
The European Strategy and Policy Analysis System (ESPAS) provides a framework for cooperation and consultation at administrative level, on a voluntary basis, between the European Parliament, the European Commission, the Council of the European Union, and the European External Action Service, with the Committee of the Regions and the European Economic and Social Committee as observers, to work together on medium and long-term trends facing or relating to the European Union.
In 2015, we inaugurated a three-year work programme of events, built around key themes laid out in the ESPAS Report on Global Trends to 2030: Can the EU Meet with Challenges Ahead?
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The European Union and the Urban Dimension

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The European Union and the Urban Dimension
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As strategic territories for the future of countries and continents, cities and urban or rurban regions appear to be in the front line as areas of tension and as agents of intervention concerning the major challenges facing the planet. Our so-called "welfare" societies in Europe cannot escape these global processes. Initially, this report will attempt to establish a diagnosis of urban realities in Europe by exposing certain methodological difficulties and issues. In part two, it will address the theme of integrated strategies for the sustainable development of territories and ways of regulating them within cities and rurban regions. The third part will cover the role of the European Union and Member States in building the urban field. Finally, it will discuss the perspectives opened by the Europe 2020 strategy for cities and rurban regions, as well as some proposals.
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Publication date: 
Sunday, July 1, 2012
Abstract in English: 
As strategic territories for the future of countries and continents, cities and urban or rurban regions appear to be in the front line as areas of tension and as agents of intervention concerning the major challenges facing the planet. Our so-called "welfare" societies in Europe cannot escape these global processes. Initially, this report will attempt to establish a diagnosis of urban realities in Europe by exposing certain methodological difficulties and issues. In part two, it will address the theme of integrated strategies for the sustainable development of territories and ways of regulating them within cities and rurban regions. The third part will cover the role of the European Union and Member States in building the urban field. Finally, it will discuss the perspectives opened by the Europe 2020 strategy for cities and rurban regions, as well as some proposals.
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24
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Urban Governance in the EU - Current Challenges and Future Prospects

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Urban Governance in the EU - Current Challenges and Future Prospects
Abstract Original Language: 
The quality of territorial foresight and, in particular, of urban foresight, is nowadays measured not so much in terms of the ability to anticipate possible futures, always challenged by the increasing uncertainty and the exponential rate of change, as in terms of the ability to construct collective visions of the future that are ambitious, proactive and engaging for stakeholders and citizens.
What foresight has to offer is its capacity to approach both long-term challenges, perceived in the present, as well as shared aims and values in a distant horizon. This publication attempts to address these challenges by ‘imagineering’ the future of cities though the application of methods and techniques drawn
from the strategic foresight and prediction fields in a systematic, rigorous and holistic way.
Original Language: 
Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Tuesday, November 1, 2011
Abstract in English: 
The quality of territorial foresight and, in particular, of urban foresight, is nowadays measured not so much in terms of the ability to anticipate possible futures, always challenged by the increasing uncertainty and the exponential rate of change, as in terms of the ability to construct collective visions of the future that are ambitious, proactive and engaging for stakeholders and citizens.
What foresight has to offer is its capacity to approach both long-term challenges, perceived in the present, as well as shared aims and values in a distant horizon. This publication attempts to address these challenges by ‘imagineering’ the future of cities though the application of methods and techniques drawn from the strategic foresight and prediction fields in a systematic, rigorous and holistic way.
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199
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Challenges at the Horizon 2025

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Challenges at the Horizon 2025
Abstract Original Language: 
Good governance is based upon foresight that allows decision makers to highlight their choices under a new perspective. The Committee of the Regions (CoR) has turned to forward planning and foresight to react to new political and socioeconomic developments in Europe.
The aim of this report is to identify the future challenges that confront the CoR and the European local and regional authorities (LRAs) at the horizon in 2025. It draws up three possible scenarios with predictions about the future evolution of European integration and the implications for the LRAs and the CoR.
The future evolution of European integration necessarily involves an identification of a number of trends, challenges and opportunities over the coming decades.
Subsequently, the report formulates key questions for debate and provides practical options and suggestions on how LRAs can make progress.
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Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Saturday, February 1, 2014
Abstract in English: 
Good governance is based upon foresight that allows decision makers to highlight their choices under a new perspective. The Committee of the Regions (CoR) has turned to forward planning and foresight to react to new political and socioeconomic developments in Europe.
The aim of this report is to identify the future challenges that confront the CoR and the European local and regional authorities (LRAs) at the horizon in 2025. It draws up three possible scenarios with predictions about the future evolution of European integration and the implications for the LRAs and the CoR.
The future evolution of European integration necessarily involves an identification of a number of trends, challenges and opportunities over the coming decades. Subsequently, the report formulates key questions for debate and provides practical options and suggestions on how LRAs can make progress.
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137
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Food Security, Sustainable Agriculture and the Bio‐Economy

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Thursday, April 19, 2012
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Since the food riots of 2007‐2008, global food security has been the subject of renewed attention and has become a hot topic in forward looking activities, thereby inducing a change of perspective: if food security and sustainable agriculture have always been interlinked then, since the riots, the importance of the composition of diets and economic access to food are more worthy of consideration than ever. Conversely, it is striking that in the forward looking literature, there are no studies that deal directly with the bio‐economy. The bio‐economy is addressed as a transversal concept that can be appreciated under economic and technological variables.
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Open Education 2030: Vision Papers Part III: Higher Education

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Saturday, June 1, 2013
Abstract in English: 
In spring 2013 the Institute for Prospective Technological Studies (IPTS) called upon experts and practitioners to come up with visionary papers and imaginative scenarios on how Open Education in 2030 in Europe might look like in 2030, with a major focus on Open Educational Resources and Practices. Three calls for vision papers were launched, one in each of the areas Lifelong Learning, School Education and Higher Education. This publication presents all papers submitted to the Higher Education call. Each paper is different in form, focus, content and style, but all of them raise important issues when thinking about "opening up" education.
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The Atlantic Geopolitical Space: Common opportunities and challenges

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The Atlantic Geopolitical Space: Common opportunities and challenges
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Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Friday, July 1, 2011
Abstract in English: 
This report summarizes discussions among a group of experts who met on 1 July 2011 to examine the prospects for cooperation in the Atlantic space. Summarizing the tenor of these discussions is a challenge given the wide variety of experts involved – academics and government officials from all parts of the Atlantic participated, drawing on themes across a range of issues – economic, security, energy, environmental, crime and many others. The report therefore stays close to the original discussion, with some small editorializing here in this executive summary and in the conclusion.
The Atlantic space is a region connected by growing linkages and common challenges. One of the aims of this conference was to begin thinking about and elaborating that which distinguishes and unites the region, and indeed whether unifying characteristics are sufficient to overcome the divergences and disparities among these four continents, which together house the world’s richest and its poorest.
It is clear that economic flows and social linkages are growing across the Basin. Investment, trade, migration, social networking, criminal activities, and other indicators are on the rise, though in some cases the same is true for extra-Atlantic interactions, especially with Asia. Yet most agreed that these flows and links alone were sufficient to call for agenda-setting on governance issues, and to begin thinking about how to resolve common problems collectively.
Meanwhile Northern Atlantic basin states are the architects of the post-war economic and security order – a liberal order whose foundational ideas remain more widely accepted today than its institutional architecture, which represents a snapshot of the distribution of power in 1945. In the absence of global agreement on reframing institutions of governance, it seems doubly important to examine the Atlantic space as a region ripe for better mechanisms of cooperation.
In terms of cross-border interactions, conference participants discussed activities between social actors such as private enterprises; they looked at region-wide economic and social activity; they disaggregated activity by state and by sector. Different pictures emerged from these analyses. Taken as a whole, economic activity between South America and Africa is low (by comparison to the EU-US relationship), but in certain areas like mining and energy there is growing investment in Africa, especially from Brazil. A bewildering host of challenges and concerns emerged from these discussions. Promoting security linkages in the South Atlantic – where there is virtually nothing in place – was seen as important both because of Brazil’s rising military strength and also because new discoveries and new technologies make it possible to exploit offshore resources more comprehensively.
Likewise, new security threats – including drug shipments, piracy, and other illicit activities – threaten weak littoral states and call for cooperative security solutions. Energy, climate change, and natural resources are a key theme in the Atlantic. The divergence between the most and least efficient producers (and the most and least prolific consumers) is perhaps greater than anywhere else on the planet. The North Atlantic states have technological solutions that are the most advanced in the world. Yet they cannot translate into control of agendas and solutions, or preservation of historical rights and access to common resources. Governance mechanisms for common resources have been devised in the North
Atlantic. How can these be translated successfully to other parts of the basin? Thus, different parts of the Atlantic basin clearly have diverging objectives and concerns given varying levels of development, democratization, and security challenges. Opening the discussion of these factors raises a host of questions needing attention, among them:
★ How do interactions drive interests and what does that mean for Atlantic basin cooperation? Most (but not all) Atlantic states are market economies and democracies – can norms and values also play a role in driving cooperation, and if so what should they be?
★ What should the emerging powers of the South Atlantic do with their power? Can they serve as anchors (along with North America and the EU) around which all Atlantic states can coalesce in order to promote democracy and development, and to find solutions to common natural resource problems?
★ What is the best way forward for cooperation and policy coordination? A sectoral approach often seems most feasible, drawing together stakeholders in agreements which are limited to interested actors and to narrow sectors. But how does this affect national sovereignty? Is sovereignty still so tightly held by most states that meaningful cooperation is precluded, or can cooperative solutions be forged among Atlantic basin states without EU-style relaxation of sovereignty norms?
★ What role do (and should) civil society groups play in the Atlantic space, and how do we best ensure respect for democratic accountability and the rule of (international) law given the deep power imbalances and the diverse interests at stake?
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Foresight in government - Practices and trends around the world

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Foresight in government - Practices and trends around the world
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Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Wednesday, January 1, 2014
Abstract in English: 
This study provides the initial results of a survey of foresight activities undertaken by a select group of governments around the world.
The study was begun following the recent initiative by European Union (EU) institutions to build a joint foresight capacity (European Strategy and Policy Analysis System – ESPAS) that assesses long-term global trends to help them strengthen policy planning. In addition to contributing to the discussion about this new EU activity, the study is also intended to be of interest for the wider European policy planning community and to anyone interested in learning about how governments practise ‘the art of the long view’ (Schwartz, 1991).
This study looks at the way governments approach foresight, the issues they try to grapple with and the challenges they face in connecting foresight and policy. Its focus is on foresight exercises that look ten years or more into the future. The study does not include within its scope foresight activities undertaken at the initiative of business, academic or non-governmental organisations, though some government-led activities do involve these other actors.
Foresight work includes a range of activities related to the production of knowledge about possible futures. This knowledge is not of the future, nor any real future, but rather ‘the manufactured knowledge of [a] restricted number of possibilities’ (Sardar, 2010). The output of foresight work very often involves the creation of scenarios for the future which can be analysed for their likelihood and potential impact.
sight also commonly uses practices such as ‘trend impact analysis’, ‘horizon scanning’, or the Delphi method (see Box 1).
This study presents an initial tour d’horizon of a limited number of countries who undertake foresight activities: Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, Finland, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Mexico, the Netherlands, Norway, Russia, Singapore, South Africa, South Korea, Sweden, Switzerland, the United Kingdom (UK) and the United States (US). The countries were chosen to represent a diverse selection of countries based on location, economic profile, power status and political regime. The analysis is based on desk research and interviews conducted with professionals in government, academia and think tanks. This study also looked at the foresight activities of a range of international organisations with mandates for public service and which interact with governments as sources of knowledge and policy advice. As foresight activity tends to be scattered across departments and not always made public, it was not possible to be exhaustive in our analysis of the countries in this study. Time constraints and language barriers may also have affected the outcome of the study.
The first part of the study identifies the main issues that governments grapple with and offers a preliminary historical overview to shed light on current practice. The second part compares the approaches to foresight taken by governments and the institutional setting for foresight activities. The third part tries to assess the conditions for fruitful foresight.
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World in 2050. The BRICs and Beyond: Prospects, Challenges and Opportunities

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Publication date: 
Tuesday, January 1, 2013
Abstract in English: 
The world economy is projected to grow at an average rate of just over 3% per annum from 2011 to 2050, doubling in size by 2032 and nearly doubling again by 2050. China is projected to overtake the US as the largest economy by 2017 in purchasing power parity (PPP) terms and by 2027 in market exchange rate terms. India should become the third ‘global economic giant’ by 2050, a long way ahead of Brazil, which we expect to move up to 4th place ahead of Japan. Russia could overtake Germany to become the largest European economy before 2020 in PPP terms and by around 2035 at market exchange rates. Emerging economies such as Mexico and Indonesia could be larger than the UK and France by 2050, and Turkey larger than Italy. Outside the G20, Vietnam, Malaysia and Nigeria all have strong long-term growth potential, while Poland should comfortably outpace the large Western European economies for the next couple of decades. This report updates our long-term global economic growth projections, which were last published in January 2011. These are based on a PwC model that takes account of projected trends in demographics, capital investment, education levels and technological progress.
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The Global Economy in 2030: Trends and Strategies for Europe

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Friday, November 1, 2013
Abstract in English: 
The main body of this report consists of four parts.
Part I sets out the main global trends and concentrates on a number of areas where our analysis deviates from received wisdom, namely population growth, globalisation and resource scarcity. This part is relatively technical and is meant to provide the analytical background to the remainder of the report. For the convenience of the busy reader, the other parts have been organised in such a way that they can be read independently.
Part II provides a snapshot of the global economy in 2030, documenting the likely evolution of the main trends combined with the outcome of a multi-country modelling exercise in terms of income and growth, but also in terms of affluence and poverty. This part also stresses some of the less conventional aspects that result from our analysis. The detailed description of the central scenario and an alternative scenario is available in Annex A.
Part III describes the trajectory of Europe’s transition from today’s depressed economy to 2030. The part also contains a summary of the main findings generated by an econometric modelling exercise focused on Europe. Greater details are presented in a separate Working Document presented in Annex D.
Finally, Part IV discusses the policy challenges that arise for Europe from this view of the world in 2030 and the possible emergence of game changers.
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