In early September 2020, the European Commission adopted its first-ever Strategic Foresight Report, aiming to identify emerging challenges and opportunities to better steer the European Union’s strategic choices.
Strategic foresight will inform major policy initiatives. It will support the Commission in designing future-proof policies and legislation that serves both the current needs and longer-term aspirations of European citizens.
The 2020 Report presents the rationale for using foresight in EU policymaking, and introduces a comprehensive concept of EU resilience.
Green transition and Blue economy
Commissioner Ursula von der Leyen stated that Europe's recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic is going to be "geared to the green and digital transition", as also highlighted in the Recovery Plan for Europe.
Blue-Cloud partners were pleased to see that - as part of its chapter 3.3 on "The green dimension" - the report mentioned several of the priorities that will bring the EU closer to its goal of reaching climate neutrality by 2050:
This entails eliminating our dependency on fossil fuels, reducing our impact on natural resources, preserving biodiversity, developing a clean and circular economy, achieving a toxic-free environment, changing lifestyles, production and consumption patterns, climate-proofing infrastructure, creating new opportunities for healthy living, green business and jobs, actively pursuing ecosystem restoration, as well as saving our seas and oceans.
A specific paragraph explicitly mentions the key role that the blue economy is playing and will play, in the context of the EU Green Deal.
Europe’s blue economy plays an important role in contributing to resilience. Preserving marine ecosystems is key to ensuring the future of maritime economic sectors. In addition to natural resources for the economy, Europe’s oceans and seas provide a habitat for marine life, carbon sequestration, renewable energy, and coastal protection against climate change.
These are some of the main Blue-Cloud's objectives, which our five pilot demonstrators are working on in order to provide seamless access to multi-disciplinary marine data to both researchers and policymakers. Our project will demonstrate useful tools for core areas of the blue economy such as fisheries and aquaculture.
In addition, we are also involving stakeholders and experts from all areas of marine research and decision-making in the development of the Roadmap to 2030, a policy document providing the basis for the future strategic development of the Blue-Cloud well embedded as a leading system in the wider marine community.