[Focus Article] - Strategic Foresight in the Western Balkans: Recovery on the Horizon

The Commission has published the study “Strategic Foresight in the Western Balkans: Recovery on the Horizon.” The study outlines three scenarios on the possible futures of Research and Innovation (R&I) policies in the Western Balkans region in 2035. Making use of Strategic Foresight will yield benefits for research and innovation eco-systems, as outlined in the ‘Western Balkans Agenda on Innovation, Research, Education, Culture, Youth and Sport’.

As reported in EC news dated 12th October,  Mariya Gabriel, Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth said:

We need to think about how research and innovation policies can unfold their potential and bring added valued to all our citizens. The Western Balkans Agenda on Innovation, Research, Education, Culture, Youth and Sport will advance the most desirable shared future in this region and we are already delivering on one of its objectives with this foresight study.

The study’s scenarios are rooted in an extensive co-creation process with more than 700 experts on R&I from the Western Balkans, who represent academia, civil society, the private sector, international organisations as well as central and subnational governments. The scenarios help to envision different futures and highlight possible actions that can be taken today in the Western Balkans to work towards the most sustainable future:

  • Joining the Common Market: outlines a potential future in which the latest EU Members Albania, Montenegro, North Macedonia and Serbia benefit from a range of European Framework Programmes and tailored support initiatives such as the European Commission’s Green Deal Just Transition Mechanism.
  • Looking beyond EU borders: constitutes a scenario in which EU accession negotiations have come to a standstill.
  • Putting Business First: depicts a scenario in which economic modernisation and public sector innovation are supported by EU institutions as well as by the European Investment Bank.

The study concludes with initial roadmaps tailored for each of the Western Balkans that can inspire decicion-makers with goals and actions needed to further develop their R&I systems.

The report was conducted by the International Service Facility of the European Commission.Using a Strategic Foresight approach, the report intends to support policy-makers in creating an enabling environment for R&I policies to thrive and decide on priorities for strategic investments for the future.

Document type
  • Newsletter


Publication Year


Geographical focus
  • Western Balkans
Scientifc field / Thematic focus
  • General

Entry created by Admin WBC-RTI.info on November 2, 2021
Modified on November 2, 2021