ESPAS – at the heart of EU foresight

Pattern of several interviewers

About ESPAS

The European Strategy and Policy Analysis System (ESPAS) provides a framework for cooperation and consultation at administrative level between the European Parliament, the European Commission, the Council of the European Union, and the European External Action Service, with the European Investment Bank, the Committee of the Regions, the European Economic and Social Committee, the European Union Institute for Security Studies and the European Court of Auditors as observers, to work together on medium and long-term trends facing or relating to the European Union.

2022 ESPAS Annual Conference

"Geopolitics is back: Charting a course for
the EU in a world of shifts and shocks"

European foresight days

Thursday 17 and Friday 18 November 2022

The global financial crisis of 2008, the migration crisis in the early 2010s, the coronavirus pandemic of 2020, and Russia’s war on Ukraine, have all demonstrated very clearly how the world is increasingly being hit by multiple, overlapping crises with significant impacts both on Europe and the rest of the world. This has piled great pressure on policy makers in the European Union and globally, to react quickly to unprecedented and highly complex situations against a backdrop of great uncertainty.

How can policy makers make the best decisions in such a complex and uncertain environment?

Building resilience in the face of crises, while maintaining the capacity for being strategic, requires policy makers to have at their disposal, the capacity for holistic thinking, and for looking beyond the usual horizons.

Systemic thinking and foresight, with its capacity to foster collective intelligence, strategic understanding and long-term thinking, can also be instrumental in helping policy makers to reinforce their ability to “stay the course” for the long-term.

This tenth anniversary ESPAS Annual Conference sought to provide a strong, forward-looking perspective on key global challenges and how we can build a robust, sustainable future for the European Union. The Conference took place at a time when the phrase 'new era' seemed to be on everyone’s lips. But what does this mean? Does everybody have the same understanding of this 'new era'? The shifting tectonic plates of geopolitics demand from us a greater understanding of different global perspectives which, in turn, may enable the European Union to position itself at the heart of whatever global order emerges from today’s uncertainties.

Together with experts and policy makers from around the world, we explored the key challenges and opportunities which confront all of us. How are they changing the emerging international security architecture? Are we at the core of a new “battle of ideas”? What do they mean for strengthening a resilient democracy at home and around the world? What will the twin green and digital transitions look like? What will Russia’s war on Ukraine, climate change, and environmental degradation mean for food and energy supplies? How can we build a more sustainable and fairer global economy?

This Conference provided a platform for fostering the emergence of new ideas to feed a long-term vision for a strong and sustainable EU in a complex and uncertain world. Importantly, it supported the development of an international dimension for ESPAS (the 'ISPAS dialogue')* and helped to nurture new thinking and ideas for the 2024 ESPAS Global Trends Report.

*International Strategy and Policy Analysis System.

ESPAS Annual Conference, November 2022

"Geopolitics is back: Charting a course for the EU in a world of shifts and shocks"

In conversation The EU and NATO – working together for Europe's security

In conversation The world after the war in Ukraine

Transatlantic cooperation in the Indo - Pacific Can it counterbalance China's rising footprint.

About ESPAS

An Inter-institutional EU Project

ESPAS provides a framework for cooperation and consultation at administrative level to work together on medium and long-term trends facing or relating to the European Union.

About ORBIS

The first global foresight hub

ORBIS is the world's largest library of prospective studies at your fingertips. Read, learn and contemplate a wide variety of topics that concern you and the rest of the world's citizens.

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