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Cooperation in Europe

In spite of the increased importance of Foresight for policy making, Foresight policies themselves have not yet reached the same state of integration and coherence at EU level as many other policy fields:

  • Foresight activities are non-existent or relatively weak in some Member States,

  • the main Foresight work is done in national settings, and players pursue contacts at EU level mostly on an ad-hoc basis (if at all),

  • European policies and issues are not systematically taken into account in national and regional Foresight studies.

This entails the risk for many regional and national actors to merely repeat and duplicate efforts already made by others, more advanced in the Foresight process, without exploiting possible synergies. They thus miss the advantages that cooperation at the European level might bring, e.g. in the form of economies of scale, cost-efficiency and shared knowledge.

Moreover, in the medium to long term, this situation could impact negatively on the implementation of common EU policies (including the strategy decided during the Extraordinary European Council held on 23-24 March 2000 in Lisbon and the creation of the European Research Area).

Therefore, consensus is growing that more consistent policy development in Science & Technology implies an urgent need to cooperate more systematically and efficiently
to share the knowledge base on which European, national and sub-national policy decisions are made.

This would allow:

  • to address many problems and challenges jointly, adapting solutions where necessary to different socio-economic contexts,

  • to improve the quality and impact of national and regional exercises, by confronting findings and methods.