European Strategy and Policy Assessment System (ESPAS) Conference, 18 November 2020


Transcript of video Message, by

Angel Gurría, Secretary-General, OECD

OECD, Paris, France, 18 November 2020

Vice President Sefcovic, Colleagues, Participants,
I am pleased to join you today for the opening of this important conference.
I would like to congratulate the administration of President Von der Leyen for the renewed and significant commitment it made to strengthen strategic foresight across EU institutions and member states.
I commend also Vice President Sefcovic, who has played a key role in leading the foresight activity and collaboration.
In an era of rapid change and high uncertainty, strategic foresight is essential to design, develop and deliver better policies for better lives. It is only by expanding our understanding of the future that we will perceive broader possibilities and design truly innovative solutions.
Never has foresight been more important than in the current context. The global pandemic is a historic challenge, with unprecedented health, social and economic consequences. Yet, with it also comes a unique opportunity to build back better.
Billions will be spent on the recovery. The design of these investments and policy reforms supported by the EU will have consequences for decades. We must use foresight to help future-proof our recovery plans.
At the OECD, we are working tirelessly to support our members and the international community in their response to the crisis, including the need to design recovery efforts in light of a wide range of possible future scenarios.
I want to congratulate you for the formation of the new European Member States foresight network. A reinvigorated European network will be a valuable addition to global foresight.
As you know, for a number of years the OECD has hosted the global Government Foresight Community, made up of strategic foresight practitioners in the public sector from around the world. Informal and highly participatory networks generate tremendous benefits in strengthening foresight capacity and enabling joint work on common priorities.
The OECD is fully committed to an evolving collaboration with the European Commission across our many areas of shared interests. Now we join our efforts again to imagine and build a brighter future; to build back better; to build a strong, inclusive, resilient and sustainable recovery. Let’s do it!
I wish you all productive exchanges and good foresighted discussions, during this conference, and beyond.
Thank you.


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