Strategic foresight has become a hot topic across EU institutions. Even before the COVID-19 crisis exposed the complexity of today’s globalised world, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen had pledged to put strategic foresight at the heart of policymaking in the EU. She elevated foresight to become a central portfolio of Commission Vice-President Maroš Šefčovič. In September 2021, the Commission presented its second Strategic Foresight Report, titled “The EU’s capacity and freedom to act”.
Systematic use of strategic foresight
While not being a new activity, the Commission will be systematically integrating foresight in its strategic planning, policymaking and legislating. Foresight is supposed to inform better regulations, promote a culture of preparedness and generally guide Europe’s green and digital transitions. To do so, the Commission and its scientific arm, the Joint Research Centre (JRC), seeks to broaden its network of collaborating partners. From green and digital technologies to the future of work, from migration to geopolitical confrontation, from the preservation of democracy to the management of natural resources, the Commission collects evidence on trends, risks, potential issues and implications across numerous policy areas.
How the EUI community can contribute
In this context, the cabinet of Commission Vice-President Šefčovič has contacted the STG to invite academics from across the EUI community to feed their research and insights into the Commission’s foresight process. Scientists from all areas of expertise are invited to submit proposals to contribute to the Commission’s “Horizon Scanning”, the newsletter “Foresight ON” and bigger foresight reports (for an overview see EC Strategic Foresight and the newsletter). Such evidence-based and action-oriented snippet versions of ongoing research have the potential to enter directly into the policy debate at Commission level, or to contribute to the longer-term strategic planning.
Webinar with foresight experts
On Friday, 3 December, 16.00-17.00, EUI faculty and fellows are invited to join two Commission foresight experts in a webinar to learn more about the Commission’s foresight products and ways to contribute. For the programme and to register, please click here.
For further information on this event, or on this incipient collaboration generally, please reach out to the responsible contact person at the STG, Jonas Brendebach.