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GEAB 153

The monthly bulletin of LEAP (European Laboratory of Political Anticipation) - 16 Mar 2021

European Commission: Ideological revolution at work

Integration of an open foresight approach into the decision-making process, willingness to involve citizens to it, visionary and ambitious strategies… what’s happening to the European Commission?!!

Our junior team immersed itself in a series of reports published over the last few months and interviewed one European official to try to get a clearer picture. Their explorations’ results are simply mind-boggling…

Foresight is now part of the beginning of the European decision-making process

As a political anticipation bulletin, the growing importance given to strategic foresight within the European Commission has logically drawn our attention. First, in September 2019,[1] Maroš Šefčovič was appointed Vice-President of the Commission in charge of inter-institutional relations and foresight. Then, a year later, the first annual strategic foresight report by the Commission came to light.[2] Although these facts mark a change, it is not a rupture according to an internal Commission source: “Prospective work has been produced in the Commission for a long time. The use of foresight work has now been given a much higher profile, because it has been assigned to the portfolio of one of the Commissioners. There are more people interested, there is more demand and more direct communication. So not a change in nature, but rather in volume and interest in using it in a wider range of policy areas than before, where it was mainly used internally.” These annual reports are a novelty and are intended to be at the source of the Commission’s policy-making process. The 2020 report was a prototype that was somewhat delayed due to the general context. The 2021 report will be published in the summer, to serve as a basis for the Presidency’s State of the Union speech, which usually happens in September, and which opens the discussion on the Commission’s annual work programme published in October. 

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