Strategic foresight for the Western Balkan in 2035

On Friday, 26 February, as part of the meeting „Regional consultations on sustainability of the WBESS network and possible next steps in the future“, a special panel on the Strategic foresight for the Western Balkan in 2035 will be held between 11:00-12:30. The session will be attended by Dr. Klaus Schuch, Scientific Director and CEO of the Centre for Social Innovation. This event is co-organised by WBESS and SCiDEV.

On behalf of the European Commission, the International Service Facility is conducting a foresight study in the Western Balkans (Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Serbia). The study aims to design regional and national scenarios for 2035 that will be co-created together with stakeholders from the private sector, civil society, academia and government. The scenarios will support policymakers in creating an enabling environment for innovation policies to thrive and decide on priorities for strategic investments.

The session on Friday will be an opportunity to discuss two scenarios: Joining the common market, and Looking beyond EU borders. In the first scenario, Joining the common market, first three economies will have joined the EU by 2035, with increased FDIs and knowledge and technology transfer together with closer conenction with diaspora and bussiness communities in Europe. At the same time, many tradional companies will be shut down as they will be unable to compete at the common market. The freedom of movement within the EU will not prevent the exodus of well-educated professionals and researchers.

In the second scenario, Looking beyond EU borders, by 2035 the EU enlargement will not be a political priority anymore. Russia, China, Turkey, the Arab countries and the USA will have competing interests in the region, with investments primarily focused on the exploitation of natural resources. Non-European governments will start to invest in educational and vocational sector, resulting in significant privatisation within the education sector.

Here you can find more about the Strategic foresight for the Western Balkan in 2035

The agenda of the regional meeting can be found here, and the link for joining the meeting is here.