The European Commission published its first strategic foresight on 9th September 2020. The approaches
contained therein will flow into major policy initiatives and the Commission's
work programmes. This is intended to improve the consistency of the strategy's
Following the COVID-19 pandemic, which
highlighted the EU's weaknesses, the strategic perspectives include, in
particular, an approach to improve EU's resilience. The EU Commission wants to
focus on its measures in a "facts-based, future-proof and resilient
manner", explained the EU Vice-President, Maroš Šefčovič. The Foresight
states that resilience is a "new compass for EU policy".
President of the European Commission,
Ursula von der Leyen explained: "In these difficult times, political
decision-makers must look far into the future. This report shows how important
resilience is for a strong and lasting recovery. We are committed to bringing
about the necessary changes in a sustainable, fair and democratic way."
Four dimensions of resilience
The strategic foresight addresses four
dimensions of EU's resilience: the social and economic dimension, the
geopolitical dimension, the green dimension and the digital dimension.
The Foresight analyses the capacities,
weaknesses and opportunities of each of the dimensions mentioned, which the EU
Commission intends to address in the medium to long term. In doing this, the
Commission aims to ensure that short-term actions work towards long-term
objectives and ensure coherence across policies.
The Strategic Foresight 2020 also contains
models for resilience overviews. These overviews will help Member States and other stakeholders to
discuss how best to monitor and control resilience. This should help to
identify and address strengths and weaknesses at EU and Member State level more
quickly in the event of new megatrends or future challenges.
Annual Strategic Foresights planned
The EU Commission plans to publish annual
forward-looking strategic foresights to analyse new developments and
challenges. They should then accompany the work programmes of the Commission
accordingly and be reflected in the annual State of the Union address by
President von der Leyen. The foresights could also provide thematic areas for
the Conference on the Future of Europe (we reported in our June newsletter here).
The ESPAS conference (ESPAS - European System for Strategic and
Policy Analysis) scheduled for November 2020 will discuss the main contents of
the 2021 strategic foresight.
It remains to be seen whether the effects
of the COVID-19 pandemic and the lessons learned will also shape the foresight