News archive - Commission publishes second Strategic Foresight Report

On 8 September 2021, the Commission adopted its second annual Strategic Foresight Report – “The EU's capacity and freedom to act”. The Communication presents a forward-looking and multidisciplinary perspective on the EU's open strategic autonomy in an increasingly multipolar and contested global order. The report identifies four main global trends, affecting the EU's capacity and freedom to act:

  1. climate change and other environmental challenges;
  2. digital hyperconnectivity and technological transformation;
  3. pressure on democracy and values;
  4. and shifts in the global order and demography.

It has also set out 10 key areas of action where the EU can seize opportunities for its global leadership and open strategic autonomy. To be technologically and digitally sovereign, the EU will need to support the development and uptake of human-centred knowledge and technologies, the report says. To stay in the race, the EU must support investments in research and development and set favourable conditions across the value chain. The EU should also incentivise more of its talents (at universities, in research institutions or businesses) to stay in Europe and mitigate brain drain between Member States and regions, according to the report.


Ten strategic areas of policy action

  1. Ensuring sustainable and resilient health and food systems;
  2. Securing decarbonised and affordable energy;
  3. Strengthening capacity in data management, artificial intelligence and cutting-edge technologies;
  4. Securing and diversifying supply of critical raw materials;
  5. Ensuring first-mover global position in standard setting;
  6. Building resilient and future-proof economic and financial systems;
  7. Developing and retaining skills and talents matching EU ambitions;
  8. Strengthening security and defence capacities and access to space;
  9. Working with global partners to promote peace, security and prosperity for all; and
  10. Strengthening the resilience of institutions

Next Steps

The Commission will continue to implement its Strategic Foresight Agenda for this policy cycle, informing Work Programme initiatives for next year. On 18-19 November, it will host the annual European Strategy and Political Analysis System (ESPAS) conference to discuss the topic of next year's Strategic Foresight Report – the twinning of the green and digital transitions, i.e. how they can mutually reinforce each other, including by using emerging technologies. Furthermore, the EU-wide Foresight Network of the “Ministers for the Future” in all Member States will continue to build foresight capacity in EU Member State administrations. Later this month, the Commission will also finalise a public consultation on its resilience dashboards, a new tool to assess resilience in a more holistic manner, in the EU and its Member States. This will contribute to measuring social and economic wellbeing by going beyond GDP. A public consultation on the Commission's draft resilience dashboards is ongoing until 30 September.


Strategic foresight supports the Commission on its forward-looking and ambitious path towards achieving President von der Leyen's six headline ambitions. Beginning in 2020, annual Strategic Foresight Reports are prepared, based on full foresight cycles, to inform the priorities of the annual State of the Union speech, the Commission Work Programme and multi-annual programming.

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Geographical focus
  • General/no specific focus
Scientifc field / Thematic focus
  • Cross-thematic/Interdisciplinary

Entry created by Admin on September 18, 2021
Modified on September 18, 2021