What sort of armed forces are Europeans likely to have (and need) by 2025? How might Europeans better organise themselves to take part in the new global competition for wealth, influence and power? This report seeks to place European military capabilities in a broader perspective and demonstrate how the only way to safeguard common ‘strategic interests’ and counter potential risks is to do more together.
As the perfect storm that hit the EU a few years ago seems to be slowly dying out, the crisis management mode that prevailed then seems now also to have given way to a more reflective mood: a less uncertain present is encouraging greater focus on how to shape a less uncertain future. Various political and institutional initiatives across the Union indicate a growing interest in strategic thinking and analysing trends and factors that may affect Europe’s position in the years and decades to come.
It may therefore be useful to dig a bit deeper into the nature, practice and record of strategic foresight - as has emerged elsewhere, especially in the United States - and to assess its relevance for the Union. To do so, a preliminary distinction needs to be made between ‘foresight’ as an essentially predictive function, and ‘strategy’ as a mainly prescriptive one.