TRANSNATIONAL CONFERENCE: Territorial scenarios and Vision: towards EU 2050

Ministère de la Région de Bruxelles-Capitale (MRBC), Salle IRIS, Centre de Communication Nord (CCN), on 9 October 2014, 15h-18h30

ET2050 was delivering an impressive amount of results from 4 scenarios, a baseline and 3 exploratory scenarios, with different time horizons (2030, 2050) and several alternatives and variants, using different models, qualitative and quantitative. The project was also developing with stakeholders a territorial vision illustrating a desirable future for the European territory, and potential pathways to implement strategies towards this aim.

Main topics of the event were:

  • Which future for the European Union towards 2050, and how much weight should be given to the territorial issues?
  • What are the baseline trends, what are the potential alternatives, with mid term (2030) and long term (2050) time horizons?
  • What is a ideal Territorial Vision of the future of the European Union, an aim towards which we would develop innovative and relevant pathways, at different levels of governance?
  • “Policymakers in the field of territorial development and cohesion are in need of a future oriented and integrated vision on the development of the European territory” (ESPON, 2011).

The ESPON project Scenarios and Vision for European Territory 2050 (ET 2050) supported policy makers in the elaboration of this territorial Vision: “A vision is a dream of a future ideal situation…having a point of departure in a future situation (2050) defined by political orientations”.

The Belgian ESPON contact point Valérie Biot introduced the workshop by explaining how the project was built, from scientific and value based processes. Then, the lead partner AndreuUlied presented how the scenarios were elaborated, and how to understand the numerous results, In the second session, the ET 2050 Lead partner (MCRIT, A. Ulied) and the partner in charge of territorial vision building and pathways (IGEAT, V. Calay) presented the territorial vision, and which potential pathways could be developed in the West subgroup area .

The workshop was allowing important time for discussion. The director of the ESPON CU, P. Melbhye and representants from EU future presidencies (2015) were attending the workshop, and commenting on the potential future use of the results of the ET 2050 project, namely the Vision: ‘Making Europe Open and Polycentric’. All participants could get a copy of this document, published by ESPON CU.

M. R. Diederich, ESPON MA, Luxembourg, made the final speech, focusing on key objectives of the future Luxembourg presidency of the EU (second semester), and the current work being done in collaboration with the Italian (current) and Latvian (first semester 2015) presidencies: to find key elements to launch the discussion with policy levels on the visioning process for Europe, and use existing materials (concepts, data, scenarios) to go forwards and produce maps.