In 2019, the Dahrendorf Forum’s second foresight project “Enhancing Europe’s global deployment of power: Eight proposals” focused on the strategic challenges confronting Europe from inside and outside the continent and how they undermine Europe’s ability to fully exercise its sharp and soft power. Our researchers asked the question: What is responsible for this under-utilization of sharp and soft power?
To approach that question, the project applied a ‘back-casting’ approach: instead of developing different scenarios for Europe in 2030, the project began with an ideal scenario and asked experts from government, business and academia to develop measures to reach this scenario. During the process, different factors were identified that might undermine the ideal development of these measures. Starting from a best-case scenario for Europe, participants were asked to develop measures that lead from the current under-utilization to a fuller and more effective use of power by 2030.
Beginning with a workshop at the London School of Economics and Political Science in May 2019, the participants (including experts from across Europe) came up with an initial set of measures, taking into consideration four policy fields: finance and investment; trade; creation and control of knowledge; data ownership and regulation. The results of the initial workshop were subsequently tested at a validation workshop in July 2019 at the School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) at The Johns Hopkins University and in another round of online validation with experts from Asia.
The project report, which describes all developed measures in detail, was presented at the European Political Strategy Centre in Brussels in early October 2019.