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Late in November, the Socio-economic sciences and humanities unit of the European Commission held a conference titled “Global Europe 2050”. The event featured the presentation of the results of a year-long effort by a European foresight expert group, which focused on “The World and Europe up to 2050: EU policies and research priorities”. In line with the previous foresight report, “The World in 2025”, the new study tackles six main issues of concern for the future, including research, education and innovation; territorial and mobility dynamics; as well as global demographic, societal, environmental and geopolitical challenges.
Three major scenarios – “Nobody cares: Standstill in European integration”, “EU under threats: A fragmented Europe” and “EU Renaissance: Further European integration” are highlighted in the report. Scenario results cover a wide range of variables and indicators (GDP, education and skills, global and sectoral productivity, etc.), which are presented in the main report, together with the full narrative. Amongst other key messages, the report advocates for a large-scale investment into knowledge development and production, which is crucial for moving towards the optimistic scenario and avoiding internal dangers, such as skills or innovation risks, as well as the unpalatable “Youth NOT on the move” potential outcome.European Commission