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Future Trends

Rebuilding Strategic Thinking

Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Thursday, October 18, 2018
Abstract in English: 
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?
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41
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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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Citizens in an Interconnected and Polycentric World

Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Thursday, March 1, 2012
Abstract in English: 
The report correctly draws a picture of global multipolarity. Of particular interest is the scope of its content and research, which was conducted not only in the developed world but also in the major poles of the emerging world. The analysis of the report is based on thorough and far-reaching research which is very useful to understand the complexities of the present global context.
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Executive summary: 
The report correctly draws a picture of global multipolarity. Of particular interest is the scope of its content and research, which was conducted not only in the developed world but also in the major poles of the emerging world. The analysis of the report is based on thorough and far-reaching research which is very useful to understand the complexities of the present global context.
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Governance of Metropolitan Regions. European and Global Experiences

Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Monday, June 20, 2011
Abstract in English: 
For many years now the Committee of the Regions has been building a reputation of being "the EU's Assembly of Regional and Local Representatives".
It decided to contribute to the debate on metropolitan governance by pulling resources together with a long-standing international partner like the Forum of Federations (FoF). The going together with such a renowned global academic network on federalism in this project, provided the CoR with an unprecedented mix of analytical and policy expertise on urban and metropolitan issues to be able to offer to our members and the rest of the EU institutions.
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183
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