Churchill is said to have commented after a particularly undistinguished meal: “The pudding [that’s dessert for us Americans] lacked a theme.” This is also true of the world before us today. If that world is less existentially dangerous than the height of the Cold War, it is scary in its shapelessness. Threats seem to emanate from everywhere, unpredictably, even at a luncheon in San Bernardino or a nightclub in Orlando. It is a world that cries out for old-fashioned strategic analysis as an input to strategy: What is important, what is less so? How do issues connect or relate to each other, and where are the trends taking us? Where and how should we intervene, and where should we disengage? What are the important investments to make? What should we be aiming for a decade hence?
ORBIS is powered by ESPAS, the European Strategy and Policy Analysis System, a unique inter-institutional project aimed at strengthening the EU's efforts in the crucial area of forward planning. ESPAS brings together the European Commission, the European Parliament, the Secretariat General of the Council of the European Union and the European External Action Service to strengthen the Union's collective administrative capacity to identify and analyse the key trends and challenges, and the resulting policy choices, which are likely to confront Europe and the wider world in the decades ahead.