On September 8, the European Commission released its 2021 Strategic Foresight Report. The report presents a forward-looking and multi-disciplinary perspective focusing on key global megatrends that will affect the EU in the coming decades. The report provides the context for possible policy responses and builds on the 2020 Strategic Foresight Report.
The Report has identified 10 strategic areas where the EU can strengthen its capacity and freedom to act. These include:
1. Ensuring sustainable and resilient health and food systems by increasing investments in healthcare, securing raw materials necessary to produce medicine, and the adoption of a legislative framework for a sustainable food system.
2. Securing decarbonized and affordable energy by increasing the use of renewable energy and rapidly diversifying the EU’s energy supply.
3. Strengthening capacity in data management, artificial intelligence, and cutting-edge technologies by expanding the EU’s capacity to store and process data while maintaining fundamental rights.
4. Securing and diversifying supply of critical raw materials to expand the use of green technologies and the defence industry. These materials include cobalt, lithium, graphite, nickel, gallium, and titanium.
5. Ensuring first-mover global position in standard-setting in areas such as artificial intelligence, blockchain, and green technologies.
6. Building a resilience and future-proof economics and financial systems through a series of measures that will facilitate green and digital transitions.
7. Developing and retaining skills and talent matching EU ambitions by adjusting social policies to ensure fair working conditions while promoting support schemes for youth employment.
8. Strengthening security and defence capacities and access to space by increasing expenditure and supporting member states to develop adequate tools in security and defence frameworks.
9. Working with global partners to promote peace, security, and prosperity for all. The report suggests to develop stronger trade defence instruments to protect EU operators from unfair practices, as well as to reinforce strategic partnerships with neighboring countries and the transatlantic alliance.
10. Strengthening the resilience of institutions by enhancing political participation and countering disinformation while ensuring freedom of expression.
Ridens PA welcomes the report and notes the connectivity of these strategic areas. Achieving diversification of energy sources and strengthening EU defence capacities will require greater coordination in developing and implementing an EU policy on critical raw materials capable of delivering. Several of the foreseen policies suggested in this report are already coming into fruition, suggesting that more may follow suit.
To access the report, please click here.