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Former CoR President to Give Keynote Address at ESPAS Conference 2021  

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This year's edition of the ESPAS Annual Conference, co-hosted by the EP and the EC, will see a high-level contribution by former CoR President Markku Markkula (FI/EPP). The ESPAS 2021 Conference will be held online on 18-19 November, under the headline 'Shaping Europe's future: Global trends and strategic choices.'

Spread over two consecutive days, the European Strategy and Policy Analysis System (ESPAS) Conference will gather prestigious speakers from governments, think tanks, universities and many other organisations in the hurtling fields of policymaking and strategic foresight.  

In his keynote address, on 18 November, former CoR President Markkula (FI/EPP) will explore how technology can play a role in securing the EU's green transition. In addition to his contribution, many high-level speakers will exchange views on resilience and autonomy in a fast-changing world. Further debate, the following day, will centre around the global trends to face Europe up to 2040 and the strategic choices the Union should be making in a more disputed world.

The Conference is expected to pave the way for an intensified transnational and interdisciplinary debate on Europe's future strategic choices. More specifically, renowned experts will tackle the thorny issues of climate change, democracy, digitalisation, transatlantic relations, and the role of foresight in policymaking.

In the wake of the covid-19 pandemic, the world's lack of preparedness and resilience to weather such existential and global threats has never been clearer. This is why international policy makers, policy analysts, experts -and academics alike- are paying more and more attention to strategic foresight. Anticipating the mid-to-long term challenges and deriving adequate action plans is indeed the only way forward, if we are to enact a successful transition to the future we want to see, both in Europe and beyond.

The ESPAS process and the Conference are essential elements of the efforts to integrate foresight in EU policy making. Both have thus been designed as the privileged framework through which the EP and the EC, together with many other EU Institutions, come together and outline future trends of relevance to the EU.

To watch the Conference's sessions and debate live, go to the website here.

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