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Strategic foresight: imperative for good policy-making

Guilherme Stecanella / Unsplash
Guilherme Stecanella / Unsplash

Strategic foresight enables policymakers to be better prepared and more proactive in emergency policy responses. The new German government should use its term of office to better integrate foresight analysis into decision-making processes.

The European Union and the world currently seem to be in constant crisis mode, making a swift responsive policy approach indispensable. But, while this is vital, it is equally important not to lose sight of the bigger picture. In order to respond effectively to crises, now and in the future, it is important to design policies in a strategic manner. This applies to Germany’s European policy given its often short-term reactive character and focus on day-to-day politics, as witnessed, for instance, during the country’s recent EU Council Presidency. The start of a new government offers a window of opportunity to adopt a more anticipatory governance approach.

Building on the findings of the IEP Strategy Group on German European Policy "Berlin Futures", Dr Katrin Boettger and Prof Dr Gaby Umbach identify existing capacities and networks for strategic foresight in various policy areas in Germany. Among other things, the authors call for the nationwide establishment of foresight departments in all federal ministries, the Bundestag and federal agencies, as well as pooling these activities in a network coordinated by the Chancellery. Within the framework of a National Resilience Council, the systemic resilience of individual policy areas should then be analysed and adjusted against the background of corresponding risk analyses and foresight reports.

Team & authors

About the Berlin Perspectives project: The IEP Policy Brief series Berlin Perspectives presents precise analyses on Germany’s European policy to an English-speaking audience. The authors analyse German European policy positions on current topics and debates to provide policy recommendations based on their findings.

Image copyright: Guilherme Stecanella / Unsplash