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Europe's evolving security: drivers, trends and scenarios

Final Report Summary - FORESEC (Europe's evolving security: drivers, trends and scenarios)

FORESEC project summary

Objectives

The FORESEC project was a European wide participatory foresight project on Europe's evolving security landscape conducted by a consortium of six research organisations. Under the leadership of the Crisis Management Initiative, the Austrian Institute for Technology, the Centre for Liberal Strategies, the International Institute for Strategic Studies, the Joint Research Centres and the Swedish Defence Research Agency engaged in this effort with the main objective to tie together multiple threads of existing work on the future of European Security.

Through a participatory foresight process, the project facilitated the emergence of a shared vision and coherent and holistic approach to current and future threats and challenges for European security. FORESEC also aimed to identify security responses in which there is particular added-value and shared interest to work at the EU-level and thereby help foster a societal debate on European security and security research and nurture an emerging EU security culture.

Activities

The FORESEC project was divided into five integrated work packages. In a first step, the project team analysed existing work on European security. This state of the art scan produced twelve country reports and a report on global trends and actors that have an impact on European security.

The input generated in the first work package was discussed and refined in a European level workshop attended by some 80 experts. The results of this workshop then formed an initial set of ideas for the implementation of the first ever Europe-wide Delphi survey on security matters.

The objective of the FORESEC Delphi survey was to identify future trends with relevance to European security. The information gathered in this foresight process was further analysed in a set of reports processing the Delphi data and assessing security challenges and their drivers in greater depth.

The result of the Delphi survey and the analysis conducted served as a basis for the scenario building process which described the next stage in the FORESEC project. In May and June 2009, six parallel workshops were conducted. Following the parallel national level workshops, FOI brought together 44 experts from across Europe in a conference to identify interdisciplinary research needs in the area of security technology and policy.

The participatory methodology employed throughout the FORESEC project and paired with back-office research and analysis has produced a string of findings and recommendations which were used as input into following phases of the project. As a result, they have been questioned and refined from a variety of angles and perspectives throughout the process.

Results

The project delivered results that contribute to reducing security gaps by identifying knowledge gaps and uncertainties.

The tangible products of the project are:

- Reports
- Interactive electronic web site
- Vision-building and dissemination events
- Increased interaction and involvement of the public as a stakeholder in the process.

These products can be widely disseminated and used as a source for decision making and strategy building by national and EU policy organisations.

Intangible outcomes that have emerged over the course of the foresight process are the following:

- Networking, i.e. creating, expanding and maintaining networks of people and organisations from different sectors working with security issues across Europe,
- The development of a consensus and a shared vision regarding the definition of European security and the major threats and challenges and how to respond to them,
- Development of a foresight culture on European security by key people and organisations,
- Integration of Foresight results into the European Security Research Programme, policy programmes and the projects of national authorities, regional organisations and companies.