Abstract in English:
The European Union is forging ahead with unprecedented action to achieve climate neutrality and sustainability. A successful transformation will limit the existential risks of climate change and the environmental crisis while strengthening the EU’s open strategic autonomy and economic security. It will be key to reinforcing Europe’s long-term competitiveness and social model, and thus its global leadership in the new, net-zero economy, also by supporting other regions in building a sustainable future. Ultimately, this will increase the wellbeing of current and future generations.
However, a successful and fair socio-economic transformation is not a given. Together with its twin, the digital transition, the green transition requires pivotal changes and trade-offs that will affect, among others, our economies and societies at an unmatched pace and scale. To succeed in this transformation, it is essential to recognise the links between the environmental, social, and economic dimensions of sustainability. This will enable Europe to pursue a forwardlooking geopolitical strategy that successfully leverages its most valuable assets – namely, its unique social market economy and its position as the largest trading block in the world.
Against this backdrop, the 2023 Strategic Foresight Report examines the key intersections between the structural trends and dynamics affecting the social and economic aspects of sustainability, to clarify the potential choices and trade-offs that the EU is likely to face in the future. Drawing on an inclusive foresight exercise and building on the three previous editions, it explores key challenges that will determine the transformation of our society and economy towards a model that respects planetary boundaries, and safeguards global competitiveness, strong social foundations, and resilience. It also investigates how pursuing inclusive wellbeing over the long-term, engaging in a pathway towards sustainability, and consolidating democracy can be the recipe for Europe to strengthen its global role.
On this basis, the report proposes ten areas for action to achieve the objectives of a socially and economically sustainable Europe with a stronger role in the world in the coming years.