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Foresight in the European Union


International Conference

On 6-7 October 2022, the European General Studies programme and the Department of EU International Relations and Diplomacy Studies at the College of Europe, Bruges campus, will organise an international conference to discuss the role of foresight in the European Union. Fuelled by rapid technological and geopolitical changes, and in particular the realisation about its own lack of preparedness exposed by a number of crises, such as the Covid-19 pandemic, the EU has recently (re-)discovered the importance of foresight for its work across a multitude of policy domains.

The conference consists of two parts. In the afternoon of 6 October 2022, a panel and a roundtable, organised by the European General Studies programme, will be dedicated to the institutionalization and professionalization of foresight in the EU. The panel will bring together experts offering historical and sociological perspectives on how foresight became part of the EU’s institutional structure, which actors drive the foresight agenda and how they do this. It will be followed by a roundtable debate on the contemporary practice of foresight. Policy-makers from the European Commission and the European Parliament will share their insights on the usefulness and limitations of foresight in the context of their work.

On 7 October 2022, the part of the conference organised by the Department of EU International Relations and Diplomacy Studies will focus on “Foresight in the European Union’s External Action”. It will begin with a panel that assesses the role and potential of foresight within and for the EU’s strategic external action, before turning to what this means for the European Union and the green and digital transformation in Africa.

The keynote address will be delivered by the European Commissioner for International Partnerships, Jutta Urpilainen. Commissioner Urpilainen will speak on the topic of EU Relations with Africa and the Global Gateway.

The Commissioner’s keynote address will set the scene for a roundtable with different stakeholders in the afternoon. This roundtable will discuss how foresight can inform and support the EU’s policies regarding the green and digital transformation in Africa. The stakeholders’ input will then serve as the basis for an exchange with policy-makers from the European External Action Service, the Council of the European Union, and the European Commission.

This event forms part of a conference cycle on “Foresight in the European Union”, which also includes events organised by KU Leuven in May 2022 (see programme) and the Europaeum network at the University of Oxford in late November/early December 2022.

The conference in Bruges is open to all College of Europe students and to the public. Participation is free of charge, but registration is required by Monday 3 October, 12:00pm (see below).

The working language is both French and English on 6 October, and English only on 7 October.



Register here.

6 - 8 Oct 2022 Bruges, Belgium