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EU aims for resilience with new foresight strategy

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EU aims for resilience with new foresight strategy

Maros Sefcovic - Photo EC

(BRUSSELS) - Resilience is the keyword of a new strategic policy direction outlined by the EU Commission Wednesday, pointing to more evidence-based strategic choices that are aimed at strong and lasting recovery.

"We cannot expect the future to become less disruptive," said EC vice-president Maros Sefcovic: "new trends and shocks will continue to affect our lives. The first-ever Strategic Foresight Report therefore sets the scene for how we can make Europe more resilient – by boosting our open strategic autonomy and building a fairer, climate-neutral and digitally sovereign future."

The 2020 Strategic Foresight Report considers EU resilience in four dimensions: social and economic, geopolitical, green, and digital. For each dimension, the report identifies the capacities, vulnerabilities and opportunities revealed by the coronavirus crisis, which need to be addressed in the medium- to long-term.

The idea of 'strategic foresight' is to improve policy design, develop future-proof strategies and ensure that short-term actions are coherent with long-term objectives. While the EU executive says it has relied on foresight for many years, its aim now is to embed it into all policy areas, 'to exploit its strategic value'.

A first example is a recent Communication on Critical Raw Materials, with foresight helping boost the EU's open strategic autonomy.

Mainstreaming foresight will be achieved by:

  • systematically conducting foresight exercises for all major policy initiatives;
  • publishing forward-looking, annual Strategic Foresight reports, analysing emerging trends and challenges to inform our policy- and decision-making;
  • supporting the development of foresight capacities in EU and Member State administrations; and
  • building a collaborative and inclusive foresight community with EU and international institutions and partner

The foresight report also proposes prototype resilience dashboards to kick-start discussions among Member States and other key stakeholders on how best to monitor resilience. These discussions would help identify and assess strengths and weaknesses at EU and Member State level, in view of emerging megatrends and anticipated challenges. They would need to answer the question of whether the policies are making the EU more resilient.

The first annual Strategic Foresight Report - towards a more resilient Europe - background guide

Website on Strategic Foresight

2020 Strategic Foresight Report

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