As the EU prepares to accelerate both transitions, the report identifies ten key areas of action with the objective of maximising synergies and consistency between our climate and digital ambitions. By doing so, the EU will strengthen its cross-sector resilience and open strategic autonomy, and be better prepared to face new global challenges between now and 2050.
Ten key areas of action
The report identifies areas where a policy response is needed to maximise opportunities and minimise potential risks stemming from the twinning:
- Strengthening resilience and open strategic autonomy in sectors critical for the twin transitions via, for instance, the work of the EU Observatory of Critical Technologies, or the Common Agricultural Policy in ensuring food security.
- Stepping up green and digital diplomacy, by leveraging the EU's regulatory and standardisation power, while promoting EU values and fostering partnerships.
- Strategically managing supply of critical materials and commodities, by adopting a long-term systemic approach to avoid a new dependency trap.
- Strengthening economic and social cohesion, by for instance, reinforcing social protection and the welfare state, with regional development strategies and investment also playing an important role.
- Adapting education and training systems to match a rapidly transforming technological and socio-economic reality as well as supporting labour mobility across sectors.
- Mobilising additional future-proof investment into new technologies and infrastructures – and particularly into R&I and synergies between human capital and tech –with cross-country projects key to pooling EU, national and private resources.
- Developing monitoring frameworks for measuring wellbeing beyond GDP and assessing the enabling effects of digitalisation and its overall carbon, energy and environmental footprint.
- Ensuring a future-proof regulatory framework for the Single Market, conducive to sustainable business models and consumer patterns, for instance, by constantly reducing administrative burdens, updating our state aid policy toolbox or by applying artificial intelligence to support policymaking and citizens' engagement.
- Stepping up a global approach to standard-setting and benefitting from the EU's first mover advantage in competitive sustainability, centred around a ‘reduce, repair, reuse and recycle' principle.
- Promoting robust cybersecurity and secure data sharing framework to ensure, among other things, that critical entities can prevent, resists and recover from disruptions, and ultimately, to build trust in technologies linked to the twin transitions.
Maroš Šefčovič, Vice-President for interinstitutional Relations and Foresight said:
“To reach climate neutrality by 2050, we need to unleash the power of digitalisation. At the same time, sustainability must be at the heart of the digital transformation. That is why this Strategic Foresight Report takes a deeper look at how to best align our twin objectives, especially as they take on a significant security dimension due to the current geopolitical shifts. For instance, from 2040, recycling could be a major source of metals and minerals, inevitable for new technologies, if Europe fixes its shortcomings in the area of raw materials. Understanding this interplay between the twin transitions, while striving for open strategic autonomy, is the right way forward.”
The Commission will continue to advance its Strategic Foresight Agenda, while informing the Commission Work Programme initiatives for next year.
On 17-18 November 2022, the Commission will co-organise the annual European Strategy and Political Analysis System (ESPAS) conference to discuss the conclusions of the 2022 Strategic Foresight Report and prepare the ground for the 2023 edition.
2022 Strategic Foresight Report: Twinning the green and digital transitions in the new geopolitical context
2022 Strategic Foresight Report webpage
Questions and answers on the 2022 Strategic Foresight Report
Website on strategic foresight
JRC Science for Policy report: Towards a green and digital future. Key requirements for successful twin transitions in the European Union
- Publication date
- 29 June 2022
- Representation in Ireland