European Futures

European Futures

Five Possible Scenarios for 2010

Gilles Bertrand, Anna Michalski and Lucio R. Pench

This book is an innovative and highly original exercise in scenario building, the aim of which is to investigate the future of Europe. The scenarios investigated by the authors include ‘triumphant markets’, ‘turbulent neighbourhoods’, ‘the hundred flowers’, ‘shared responsibilities’ and ‘creative societies’. These are five coherent and thought-provoking images of Europe in 2010. Rather than present a definitive picture of the future of Europe, the authors highlight the range of possible futures, and the factors and actors that are likely to shape them. Written in a narrative style, the scenarios are grounded in a rigorous analysis of the main trends affecting Europe’s future, including demography, technology, globalisation and post-modernity.

Chapter 8: How We Built the Scenarios (Methodology)

Gilles Bertrand, Anna Michalski and Lucio R. Pench

Subjects: politics and public policy, european politics and policy


The building of the Scenarios Europe 2010 followed a methodology called Shaping Actors-Shaping Factors. Its development has benefited from regular contacts between the Forward Studies Unit and numerous international institutes active in future studies. In particular, we would like to mention the French Conservatoire National des Arts et Métiers (NAM), the Dutch institute Clingendael, the Anglo-American Global Business Network, the German think-tank EUCIS, the association Futuribles International and strategic thinktanks of large companies such as Shell. The Unit also maintains close contacts with planning and future studies departments in EU Member States and large international organizations, such as the OECD. The basic sequencing of the construction of the Scenarios Europe 2010 is similar to the methods developed and used by Futuribles and CNAM and sometimes referred to as the école française (analysis of variables, partial scenarios, global scenarios). The brainstorming methods that were used are closer to the Anglo-Saxon tradition. Furthermore, the objective of the exercise and the fact that it was organized within an institution like the European Commission led the Unit to break new ground with regard to the existing methods. This included the writing up in full of the partial scenarios as well as the technique used for the final selection of the global scenarios. The production of the partial scenarios worked as follows. Five themes were chosen for their capacity to capture and illustrate developments relevant for the future of Europe and its process of integration. They were: institutions and governance; social cohesion; economic...

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