Nowadays, public policies need to be continuously reviewed and adapted to face unforeseen issues or to react to emergency situations, for instance, to face the consequences of the on-going systemic crisis. Rapidly evolving contexts exert influence on policy makers who have to take decisions much faster and more accurately than in the past. Very often, they do not have other choices than 'acting for the emergency'.
This demand for more agility is particularly felt at European level where the complexity of the EU lawmaking process does not facilitate a prompt adaptation to new circumstances. The EU legislative process is often criticised for being too inefficient and difficult to understand.
Although the Smart Regulation policy has led to significant progress, much can still be done to streamline policy making, especially the steps requiring 'scientific evidence' (e.g. impact assessments) and 'consultation' with external stakeholders. Indeed, the potential of ICT to facilitate the gathering of evidence as well as the engagement of stakeholders is still largely untapped.
In addition to the demand for more agility, evidence and participation, there is also a growing need to improve anticipatory thinking in policy making practices. New policies are often conceived on the basis of current trends rather than to capture the future opportunities given, for instance, by long term advances in science and technology. Today's increasing demand for sustainable grows measures calls for new ambitious policies that tap into Europe's creativity and long-term research and innovation potential.
Digital Futures addresses these issues by experimenting and piloting a new approach to policy making (Policy Making 3.0) characterised by: