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Foresight

Western Options in a Multipolar World

Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Monday, November 27, 2017
Abstract in English: 
No one can know the future. China and Russia—who are currently challenging, albeit in different ways, the Western liberal order—face difficulties at home and could become inward-focused and disengaged. Nonetheless, almost thirty years after the end of the Cold War, geopolitics looks like it is poised for another turn of the wheel that may not be as favorable to Western interests.
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12
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The Future of International Trade and Investment (ESPAS Ideas Paper)

Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Thursday, September 20, 2018
Abstract in English: 
This paper examines current trends, uncertainties and wild cards in relation to international trade and investment. It then considers implications for the European Union.
The European Union’s interest remains clear: a rules-based order is better than a transactional or winner-takes-all approach to international trade. But it is wise to plan for the worst, while hoping for the best.
The future of international trade and investment may lie somewhere between the extremes of the status quo and a reversion to protectionism. This would involve a thorough revision and rebalancing of multilateral norms, to take account of major global changes on many fronts. The EU has traditionally been a leading player in the creation of international institutions and norms. But the days when Europe could dictate the global agenda are over. Europe’s role will be increasingly a matter of seeking to influence events, rather than asserting dominance. In the coming decades, internal unity and a strong sense of purpose will be all the more important.
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12
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The Future of Warfare (ESPAS Ideas Paper)

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The Future of Warfare (ESPAS Ideas Paper)
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Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Thursday, September 20, 2018
Abstract in English: 
Warfare is shaped by geopolitical, societal, technological, economic and military trends:
Geopolitical: The multipolar relations between ever bigger political entities with overlapping spheres of influences are defined by surpise and uncertainty. Smaller political entities will be weaker and proxy wars more common in the future. Detterence will be reinterpreted, vulnerable states more prone to aquire nuclear weapons and international norms weakened. Megacities will be central battlefields that leave ground forces vulnerable.
Social: Warfare will shift to the internet, it will be uncontrollably ‘open-source’, live and shocking, with ever more spectacular terror. Armies will be more network-centred, waging more personalised wars and will have to find new ways to interact with democratic societies. Women in combat and the disappearance of world war veterans change the way people think about war.
Technological: Mankind becomes more powerful over time, with non-state actors possessing capabilities currently restricted to super-powers. It will struggle to outlaw technological advances and wage war without violence. The West will lose its technological superiority and will have even bigger problems in knowing how and what to research. Both inferior and highly developed armies will develop new ways of engaging the enemy. Artificial intelligence (AI) will mean that democratic armies have to balance the ‘human in the loop’ policy against effectiveness.
Economic: The economy of the opponent will be a bigger target than in the past, with commercial and dual-goods becoming more important, and the environment a more widely used weapon.
Military: Possible future military situations will be more diverse then ever. Western armies will be vulnerable to cheap weaponry. The idea that wars will be easy to win will make the world more dangerous.
Key uncertainties are China, the cyber-dimension, robotics, autonomous systems and artificial intelligence, paradigmatic breakthroughs such as quantum computing, general AI and anti-ballistic systems, nuclear detterence and nuclear bargaining. Ten key questions for policy-makers focus on strategic autonomy, adaptation, balancing reserves, R&D, cooperation and export, interventions, China, weakening norms, anticipation, communication and procurement.
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Latin America and the Caribbean 2030: Future Scenarios

Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Thursday, December 1, 2016
Abstract in English: 
The report finds that if the region and world move ahead as expected, 57 million more Latin Americans and Caribbean citizens will join the middle class over the fourteen-year period. Annual regional GDP growth will be 2.4 percent, slightly outperforming the US rate of 2.2 percent. But the region will face significant challenges ranging from income inequality to its demography and the impact of climate change.
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156
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Global Trends and the Future of Latin America: Why and How Latin America Should Think About the Future

Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Thursday, September 1, 2016
Abstract in English: 
Latin America must strengthen its ability to plan forward and deepen its strategic reflection if it is to govern better and improve the design of public policies. Achieving this may require countries in the region to familiarize themselves with global scenarios and to explore the types and scale of challenges that they might confront. A national perspective is not sufficient; a global vision is essential.
Globalization creates a stream of effects that cannot be controlled by individual countries. With an outlook that takes into consideration the rest of the world, Latin American governments could improve their capacity to anticipate events and, when those events occur, to respond effectively to uncertainty and rapid change. Through strategic planning that envisions diverse and myriad situations, countries of the region may be able to skirt damage or even identify advantageous responses. In effect, human action might alter trajectories in ways that could bring the region closer to desirable outcomes.
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56
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CoR’s Future Role and Institutional Positioning

Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Friday, September 12, 2014
Abstract in English: 
Good governance is based upon foresight that allows decision makers to make informed choices. The Committee of the Regions (CoR) has turned to strategic foresight to anticipate the forthcoming changes within the EU political system. The exercise is a second step in strategic foresight at the horizon of 2025, which follows the report on the future challenges facing the CoR and European local and regional authorities (LRAs).
The aim of this second report is to address the CoR’s future role and institutional positioning within the European political architecture. It draws up five future-based scenarios with predictions about the evolution of the CoR's institutional and political role, its associated powers and relations with other EU institutions and stakeholders. For each scenario, the report analyses the consequences for the overall EU institutional setup, the evolution of parliamentarism, the supranational decision-making process and the CoR mandate.
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83
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Preparing the Commission for future opportunities

Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Monday, April 13, 2015
Abstract in English: 
At a time when the new European Commission announced that it will concentrate on bold initiatives, it is important to recall that any policy decision has complex ramifications. Indeed, an increasing number of decisions affect several policy portfolios, and they need to take into account an increasing number of parameters, like geopolitics, economics, finance, security, health, environment, climate change, sociology, urbanisation, ageing society, and integrate fundamental European social values such gender equality and ethics. In addition, the technological breakthroughs are accelerating as never be-fore in history and social innovation (e.g. social media) augments the speed of information gathering and dissemination.
Because societies become ever more complex, collaborative long-term anticipation must replace the "silo" thinking habits and the short-termism that has characterised many aspects of policy-making in Europe.
Foreseeing is not sufficient anymore because it is only a tactical extrapolation of current trends; it is the future of the past. Foresighting however is strategic because it is based on more disruptive views; it is about the future of the future.
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201
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FORESIGHT 2015

Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Thursday, October 1, 2015
Abstract in English: 
The futures (in the plural) that we focus on uncovering are the ones that people are not thinking enough about. Our role is not to predict, but to signal to decision-makers new opportunities and new risks that they might not otherwise be alert to.
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84
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An initial assessment of territorial forward planning/foresight projects in the European Union

Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Tuesday, November 1, 2011
Abstract in English: 
Territorial foresight is a structured set of participatory vision building and strategic planning activities that allow regions to think, consider, debate and shape the medium to long-term future of their regions, provinces or cities. Many of the key process elements of foresight are widely used in strategic planning – the formation of expert panels, the use of socio-economic and environmental data consultation, brainstorming, trend and extrapolation and the setting of strategic goals. Foresight, unlike most approaches to strategic planning, deals with long-term prospects, and draws upon the views of multiple stakeholders.
This report analyses the interactions between European strategies and policies, and the activities of the analysed territorial foresights, in order to assess the potential opportunity to create a territorial foresight network or platform at the European level.
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450
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Research and Innovation on Sustainable Urban Dynamics

Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Tuesday, January 1, 2013
Abstract in English: 
Urban issues are tackled in different Challenges of the Horizon 2020, the European Framework Programme for Research and Innovation. In Challenge 6 dealing with Inclusive, Innovative and Reflective Societies, a specific socio-economic item deals with “The promotion of sustainable and inclusive environments through innovative spatial and urban planning and design”. This publication highlights 10 stakeholders-based urban subjects to be addressed over the next years. It also provides a list of the EU urban research projects funded in the 7th EU Framework Programme (Social Sciences and Humanities; Sustainability and Environment; Transport and Energy; ICT; Smart Cities; and Security).
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