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European Union

Europe in 2022: Alternative Futures

Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Wednesday, March 29, 2017
Abstract in English: 
Sixty years after the signing of the Treaty of Rome, Europe faces its greatest challenges, and possibly its sharpest turning point, since World War II. The spectrum of possible futures for Europe is wide, encompassing everything from rebirth to disintegration. But, a strong leap toward greater EU-wide integration—as was sometimes the outcome of earlier crises—seems unlikely at best. Instead, this seems a time for smaller steps toward more integration, most likely in response to specific challenges, including: stronger external border controls; enhanced eurozone governance; or a more capable Common Security and Defense Policy. If the positive option is modest integration, the alternative future is one dominated by a clear break with past integration. A presidential victory in May by France’s Marine Le Pen could splinter the European Union, sending it into a tailspin toward disintegration. Even if this dire forecast is avoided, Europe—and especially the European Union (EU)—will face challenges that push it into entirely new directions. If the United States withdraws from Europe, for example, will Europe be forced to accommodate Russian demands? Or will that challenge foster stronger security cooperation among a core set of nations, to counterbalance a weakening NATO? And if Europe’s economy continues on a slow-growth path, will it be able to afford to respond to the challenges it faces?
In this report, Europe in 2022: Alternative Futures, Frances Burwell’s transatlantic expertise joins Mathew Burrows’ deft trends analysis to offer a sobering look at the possible future for Europe with the hope of reigniting the bond between Americans and Europeans so that we may build a better future together.
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86
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Public opinion and EU policies - Exploring the expectations gap

Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Friday, July 15, 2016
Abstract in English: 
Citizens’ expectations of the European Union vary widely across policy areas. A Eurobarometer survey of the European Parliament – Europeans in 2016: Perceptions and expectations, fight against terrorism and radicalisation – seeks to identify those areas in which EU citizens want to see the Union doing more. Having identified areas in which there is a gap between the EU’s current action and citizens’ expectations of the Union, the next step is to look at the potential – within the constraints of the EU legal foundations – for the EU to do more to meet citizens’ expectations.
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72
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Europe: What to watch out for in 2016-2017

Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Friday, January 15, 2016
Abstract in English: 
The European Union seems to be moving from one emergency to the next. Europe’s leaders are in crisis-fighting mode: reactive, improvising, often uncoordinated – but ultimately modestly successful.
The Eurozone has not splintered; Russia is smarting under Western sanctions; some burden-sharing on refugees has been agreed. Busy with short-term problems, however, Europeans have taken their eyes off more profound, long-term challenges. How the European Union copes with its immediate problems in the next couple of years will determine how the continent will fare in decades to come.
In this White Paper, we – the Global Agenda Council on Europe – are analysing some of the most pressing issues confronting the EU in 2016-2017. We present the choices that European leaders must make in the years ahead and explain how these could shape the Union’s medium to long-term development. To illustrate how different policy choices interact, we have drawn up two fictitious scenarios of how the EU could evolve in the next 10 years.
The immediate economic concerns that dominated the European agenda in 2008-2014 are lessening. The cyclical upswing in the European economy, however, must not make governments complacent about the need for reforms. Faced with stagnating or shrinking working-age populations, European countries simply must fix their productivity problem to generate long-term growth. In innovation and digitization, Europeans often seem obsessed with data privacy and protection rather than grasping new opportunities. The European Commission’s laudable attempts to integrate and improve EU markets – for example, for energy and capital – have so far been slow to get off the ground. The arrival of millions of migrants, asylum seekers and refugees is a great opportunity for an ageing Europe, but only if governments, together with the private sector, act swiftly to help the new arrivals find jobs.
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17
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The European Union and the Urban Dimension

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The European Union and the Urban Dimension
Abstract Original Language: 
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.
Original Language: 
Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
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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Science 2.0: the deep unbundling

Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Saturday, March 1, 2014
Abstract in English: 
This paper briefly outlines possible futures scenarios of science 2.0, analyses its implications and draws policy recommendations “fit for the future”. Science 2.0 is more than open access: it refers to the emergence of open, data-intensive and citizen science across the full research cycle, from data gathering to reputation management.
Science 2.0 is here to stay and it is already growing well beyond individual projects. On the supply side, an ecosystem of services and standards is emerging. Adoption is growing and becoming mainstream already in some phases such as preprint publication, reference sharing, open access publication. Impact is already visible and will address some of the most burning issues of science, such as the slowness of the publication process and the challenge of reproducing research results.
Based on the extrapolation of existing trends and on analogies from different domains, we anticipate a set of “scenario snippets”:
- The full integration of data, publications and intermediate product will enable reproducibility by default. But adoption of such sharing culture will require time and a new system of incentives based on impact metrics and career structure.
- Evaluation metrics will become multidimensional, granular and instantaneous;
- The work of scientist will change with greater collaboration and independence from institutions.
Overall, we will see an unbundling of services, which are today integrated. Research will be separated from teaching, data collection from data analysis, publication from reputation management. Different specialised service will emerge and displace the incumbents such as publishers and universities. At the same time, the value chain will reorganise through vertical integration around new platforms. These could be built around unexpected positions in the value chain, including electronic reading devices.
In terms of implications, these scenario show opportunities and risks in three main areas.
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The Engagement of Member States in Forward Looking Activities at EU-level

Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Sunday, December 1, 2013
Abstract in English: 
The study focused on the development of an approach for the ‘design of a European foresight process that contributes to a European challenge-driven R&I strategy process’. The involvement of Member States (MS) in forward looking activities (FLA) at EU-level is considered important and beneficial, and is proposed to be facilitated at an early stage through the Council High Level Group on Joint Programming (GPC), the most relevant MS-led group in this context. The process of involving MS is in particular relevant ahead of the planning of the next framework programme after Horizon 2020 (Horizon II).
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The Future of Open Innovation

Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Monday, February 24, 2014
Abstract in English: 
Open Innovation has been a growing topic of both practice and research for over a decade. The term originated from the USA but has spread globally into many industrial sectors. This paper has a number of purposes:
- To define Open Innovation, OI.
- Outline the history of Open Innovation and the evidence for its success or otherwise in promoting innovation and contributing to new industries.
- Discuss the connection with Forward Looking Activities (FLAs), Open Access and Open Source software.
- Discuss possible policy options for the EC in relation to OI.
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17
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Future lifestyles in Europe and in the United States in 2020

Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Sunday, December 1, 2013
Abstract in English: 
EFFLA is looking to review the Horizon 2020 objectives and the related grand challenges in light of foresight with a long-term horizon. The intention of this research is to provide EFFLA with detailed understanding of key lifestyle trends in both Europe and the United States that are likely to challenge and change the current paradigm, societal structures, values, attitudes and practices in the long-term.
This research, done by Wevolve, a Helsinki and New York based research and strategy agency, consolidates the existing information and research material, such as reports, articles, trend publications, research articles and other existing information of the relevant shifts and trends. It identifies the key macro drivers of change and maps the relevant lifestyle shifts in values, attitudes and behaviors. The four key future lifestyle trends are Augmented and Programmed Lives, Culture of Production and Sharing, Resilient and Proactive Citizens, and The Quest for Purpose. All trends include relevant subthemes. Below is a summary of the main findings.
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53
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Horizon Scanning-Metafore Towards a Shared Future-Base for the European Research Area

Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Friday, March 1, 2013
Abstract in English: 
Europe is one of the global leaders in strategic foresight. From a continent that was mired in its own troubled and conflict‐ridden past, Europe has been gradually emerging over the past few decades as a region that wants to jointly and confidently embrace its future. The European Union is widely acknowledged as playing a key role in this transformation. Its very existence is forcing its member states and their citizens to explore new forms of governance in order to remain globally competitive in a future world that keeps changing at vertiginous speeds. Its high‐level initiatives such as ‘Europe 2020’ intend to push the European policy agenda towards ambitious objectives in areas such as employment, innovation, education, social inclusion and climate/energy. But nowhere is the forward‐leaning nature of the EU more visible than in the research area, where the European Union has been funding long‐term transnational framework programmes in many of the most promising fields of scientific discovery. The size and scope of many of these programmes are truly unique – even in comparison to analogous ones in the United States, Japan or (increasingly) China.
Foresight is an important ingredient in this overall research agenda. Across its different research priorities, the EU may very well fund more foresight work than any other actor in the world. And yet many of these efforts remain largely uncoordinated. Most research projects that address ‘the future’ tend to start from scratch and to do their own foresight work in their own fields with their own methods. This paper will examine whether it might be possible to develop a shared European future‐base by describing some experiences that were accumulated by a small European policy think tank from The Netherlands – the The Hague Center for Strategic Studies – that is primarily working in the field of strategic studies. HCSS has been performing foresight work for various (national and multinational) public and private customers for about a decade now, and has also started building a more systematic ‘future‐base’ containing insights from a broad variety of global foresight studies.
This paper will start by introducing the idea and the rationale behind such a ‘future‐base’, will then describe the method used by HCSS and present some examples from foresight studies published in 2012 in the field of security. It will conclude with a brief analogous analysis of a number of EU FP7‐funded studies in order to show how EU research priorities could be compared to some of the findings from a future‐base like exercise.
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78
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Report to European Forum on Forward Looking Activities: Disruptive Emergencies

Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Monday, February 18, 2013
Abstract in English: 
For this project, disruptive emergencies are defined as unplanned and non-routine events that have a significant consequence or impact on people, property and infrastructure, or could seriously damage the security of the EU. The impacts include harm to people (including psychological impacts), short or long term economic damage, and physical damage to property and the environment. Disruptive emergencies have been classified as either:
- Hazards - the results of nature or technical failure, including human error; or
- Threats - the results of terrorist or criminal activity (including state sponsored)
Disruptive emergencies do not include everyday occurrences, such as street crime.
The scope of the project includes emergencies that occur either within the EU (or are covered by the EU Civil Protection mechanism, such as the forest fires in 2007), or events outside the EU, that have a major impact within the EU, such as the potential break down of the energy system due to the decision to close nuclear plants as a result of Fukushima.
In undertaking this project I drew on my experience of undertaking FLA in the UK government and as a consultant; and experience of work on the preparedness for and resilience towards disruptive emergencies. This includes work on disruptive emergencies as part of the UK National Security programme (CONTEST) and the associated National Risk Register. I conducted desk research and interviewed a number of experts on the subject. I also took account of comments made following a presentation to the EFFLA Committee at the commencement of the project.
This report neither covers the provision of humanitarian assistance by the EU after emergencies; nor an assessment of future risks or an audit of the capability of DG Research and Innovation to respond to them.
There is lot of activity by Member States and the European Commission directed towards the anticipation of, preparedness for, response to and recovering from disruptive emergencies. The recommendations cover areas where DG Research and Innovation can contribute to these activities.
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25
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