Project: Trajectories of Change – Strategic Foresight for EU Enlargement and Neighbourhood

16 March 2023

Visegrad Insight, Res Publica Foundation partner up with ZEIT-Stiftung to launch a major initiative “Trajectories of Change – Strategic Foresight for EU Enlargement and Neighbourhood”.

“Trajectories of Change – Strategic Foresight for EU Enlargement and Neighbourhood” fosters exchange between academic and policy networks in Europe and provides policy briefs and recommendations related to the dynamics of EU enlargement with a particular focus on Southern and Eastern Neighbourhoods.

This project aims to facilitate the constructive input of academic networks in the upcoming debate about the long-term vision on the future of Europe. It seeks to overcome an image of recalcitrance associated with the Southern and Eastern Neighbourhoods by elaborating on concrete proposals through extensive workshops, consultations and policy interventions on the future of Europe from the perspective of civil society stakeholders. By means of extensive discussions, horizon-scanning, and trend analysis, it gives voice to actors that may not be heard through conventional and state-led channels.

With the Spanish presidency, the question of the EU’s Southern neighbourhood should become a serious focus for strategic considerations, not only in terms of managing migrations from Africa and the Middle East but also when it comes to the large-scale international role that Africa will play within the next few decades. At the same, the developments in the Eastern Flank of the EU have plainly revealed a shift of power to the east. The recent enlargement talks with Ukraine and Moldova have opened a new chapter in Europe’s strategic gaze towards the Eastern Neighbourhood. With Ukraine’s accession prospects, the sluggish and difficult enlargement process with the Western Balkan countries has become reinvigorated. All those developments, in Southern and Eastern neighbourhoods alike, translate into a time of integration processes that “Trajectories of Change” aim to facilitate.

The project begins with two-day workshops with leading policymakers and stakeholders at the heart of European policymaking in Brussels. These inter-disciplinary and multi-university workshops will be conducted with a particular focus on the Southern and Eastern neighbourhood regions. Throughout those two days, participants will be plugged into strategic foresight planning under the guidance of experts in the field.

The workshop sessions will serve as an introduction to a broad array of activities planned for the rest of the year, centred around the policy initiatives of the Commission on the Global Priorities, alongside the EU 2023 Spanish presidency of the Council. The following steps of the project will include a summer retreat, followed by the drafting of a series of policy briefs for interventions which will culminate in advocacy campaigns among EU member states. Taken together, those four components of the programme will ensure an active contribution towards the dynamics of EU enlargement with a particular focus on Southern and Eastern neighbourhoods.

The ZEIT-Stiftung Ebelin und Gerd Bucerius was established in 1972 by German lawyer and publisher Gerd Bucerius, and his liberal and cosmopolitan perspective shapes the foundation’s activities up to this day. It provides scholarships for PhD students and creates opportunities for interdisciplinary and intercultural exchange. Convinced that the representation of scientific perspectives in public discourse is vital for democratic decision-making, the foundation facilitates interactions between academia, public and politics. It promotes quality journalism with a particular focus on supporting the free media landscape in Eastern Europe.


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