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The relevance of foresight for accession countries and possibilities for co-operation

Havas, Attila (2003): The relevance of foresight for accession countries and possibilities for co-operation. Published in: IPTS Report No. 73 : pp. 4-11.

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Abstract

Accession countries, faced with the same challenge of joining the EU while still characterised by their own distinct level of socio-economic development, set of institutions, culture and norms, can benefit significantly from conducting foresight programmes. Yet, foresight should not be conducted for its own sake – just because it is becoming “fashionable” throughout the world, and currently being promoted by the EU. On the contrary, there should be a strong link between foresight, decision preparation and policy-making. Foresight has now reached a point, at which different approaches can be compared to highlight good practices: what has worked in certain circumstances (level of development, challenges and hence policy aims), and thus what set of tools and approaches are likely to be useful in different environments. International co-operation, therefore, can be extremely useful for accession countries in various ways. The simplest one would be to share information, exchange experience, as well as compare methods and achievements, i.e. to learn from each other. A more ambitious way could be to conduct joint foresight programmes on issues that go beyond the national boundaries, such as accession countries’ role and prospects as members in the new, enlarged EU, scope for their re-invigorated co-operation in those new settings, etc. However, trans-border foresight exercises would also require adequately adapted or even entirely new methods and techniques.

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