“Strategic foresight”, Katrin Boettger and Gaby Umbach (IEP, Germany)

The European Union and the world currently seem to be in constant crisis mode, making a swift responsive policy approach indispensable. But, while this is vital, it is equally important not to lose sight of the bigger picture. In order to respond effectively to crises, now and in the future, it is important to design policies in a strategic manner. This applies to Germany’s European policy given its often short-term reactive character and focus on day-to-day politics, as witnessed, for instance, during the country’s recent EU Council Presidency. The start of a new government offers a window of opportunity to adopt a more anticipatory governance approach.

Building on the findings of the IEP Strategy Group on German European Policy “Berlin Futures”, Dr Katrin Boettger and Prof Dr Gaby Umbach identify existing capacities and networks for strategic foresight in various policy areas in Germany. Among other things, the authors call for the nationwide establishment of foresight departments in all federal ministries, the Bundestag and federal agencies, as well as pooling these activities in a network coordinated by the Chancellery. Within the framework of a National Resilience Council, the systemic resilience of individual policy areas should then be analysed and adjusted against the background of corresponding risk analyses and foresight reports.

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