EC launches foresight report aimed for ‘resilient Europe’

The European Commission has unveiled its first-ever Strategic Foresight Report, which aims to identify challenges and opportunities to better steer the European Union’s (EU) strategic choices.

The document is meant to support the Commission in designing “future-proof” policies and legislation that serves both the current needs and longer-term aspirations of European citizens, reports Xinhua news agency.

“The pandemic has not only thrown a sharp light on our vulnerabilities but has presented opportunities that the EU cannot afford to miss.

“It has also reaffirmed the need to make our policies evidence-based, future-proof and centred on resilience,” Commission Vice President Maros Sefcovic said as he launched the document on Wednesday.

“We cannot expect the future to become less disruptive. 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,” Sefcovic, tasked with inter-institutional relations and foresight, added.

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said in a statement that “in the challenging times, political leaders have to look wide and far ahead”.

“This report shows the importance of resilience for a strong and lasting recovery. We aim to steer the necessary transitions in a sustainable, fair, and democratic manner,” she added.

In the context of the ambitious recovery plan presented by the Commission, 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.