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Since 2020, the European Commission has published annual Strategic Foresight Reports to inform the Commission's priorities, the Commission Work Programme, and its multi-annual programming. The 2023 report “Sustainability and wellbeing at the heart of Europe’s Open Strategic Autonomy” examines the most relevant and intertwined social and economic challenges for Europe for a successful and fair socio-economic transformation to achieve climate neutrality and sustainability. They include the changes in geopolitics, the quest for a sustainable economy and wellbeing, the increasing pressure to ensure sufficient funding for the transition, and the growing demand for skills.

On this basis, it proposes ten areas where the EU needs to act to successfully navigate the transition and ensure Europe’s open strategic autonomy and global position. They share a call for a new economic model focussed on the well-being of people and respect for the environment. In concrete, coordinated actions in relation to economic activity include:

  • Leveraging the Single Market to champion a resilient net-zero economy
    • Achieve adequate levels of strategic intelligence and anticipatory governance
    • Incentivise sustainable business models and ensure sufficient support for the rapid development and deployment of net-zero technologies
    • Ensure strong linkages between market access and high sustainability standards
    • Rapid manufacturing of essential components for the energy transition, such as raw materials or net-zero technology equipment
  • Supporting shifts in production and consumption towards sustainability
    • Reforms and investments across Member States to decarbonise and depollute the economy
    • Promote repair in the after-sale context and design for circularity
  • Moving towards a “Europe of investments” by increasing private financial flows in support of strategic investments for the transitions
    • Use public funding as a catalyst for private investments in breakthrough sustainability projects
    • Continue efforts to ease access to relevant sources of EU funding for European start-ups and small and medium companies
  • Further shifting policy and economic indicators towards sustainable and inclusive wellbeing
  • Ensuring that everyone can successfully contribute to the sustainability transition
    • Increase labour market participation among all segments of the population
    • Encouraging lifelong learning
    • This needs to be matched with adapting workplaces and working conditions to new types of jobs, generational expectations, and the needs of workers

Speakers included:

  • Beata Kolecka, Head of Foresight & Strategic Communication Unit, Secretariat-General, European Commission;
  • Jan-Philipp Kramer, Head of EU Services, Prognos;
  • Vincent Deschamps, Policy officer Innovation, General Directorate for Enterprises, French Ministry of Economy and Finance;
  • Theresa Gerdes, Head of Programme “go-cluster”, VDI/VDE Innovation + Technik.

In this context, the European Cluster Collaboration Platform, on behalf of the European Commission, organised the EU Clusters Talk “Sustainability and wellbeing: The EU Strategic Foresight Report” on 6 September 2023, 8:30 – 9:45 CET, to learn about the findings in the report on strategic foresight and discuss how clusters can contribute to this strategic vision and readiness of the European Union to make the best of the opportunities presented in the report.

Watch the full recording of the webinar:

This event is part of weekly online meetings brought to the cluster community by the European Cluster Collaboration Platform. They offer up-to-date insights into the latest industrial policies and clusters’ involvement, projects, and best practices, the latest ECCP news, and funding opportunities. The EU Clusters Talks are a space to exchange knowledge and to discuss cluster-relevant topics, which will change with every meeting.  

Prior registration to this event is compulsory before 6 September 2023, 7:30 CEST.  

This EU Clusters Talk is open to participants from the European Union and SMP/COSME countries. Approval for attending the session will be given individually.


Please find below the event summary and the slides of this EU Clusters Talk which includes the key takeaways from the session.

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Virtual Event

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