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TRends In Global Governance and Europe’s Role

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - TRIGGER (TRends In Global Governance and Europe’s Role)

Reporting period: 2018-12-01 to 2019-11-30

"Over the past few years, the global governance landscape has been in constant turmoil. The achievements of 2015, such as the agreement on the Sustainable Development Goals and the Paris Agreement, have been largely obfuscated by rising populism and nationalism, tensions and deteriorating trust between superpowers, the emergence of a digital cold war between the United States and China, the unprecedented exit of one large country from the EU. Against this background, the European Union increasingly has to play ""solo"" in the global order, and it needs to confront both the above-mentioned threats internally and externally. The role and strength of the EU chiefly depends on the way in which it is able to reach cohesion and both internal and external recognition, thereby becoming a strong ""actor"" in the global governance landscape.

Against this background, TRIGGER is leading to the definition of new policy instruments, which could inspire more effective governance decisions in the future. First, lessons learnt from the analysis of the EU's involvement in several policy areas (sustainability, climate, digital technologies, development aid) can inspire future decisions. Second, structured foresight activities carried out in TRIGGER will lead to a better understanding of possible future scenarios. Third, TRIGGER is developing software tools that enable a swift perception of the impact of specific decisions on citizens' sentiment, as well as the co-creation of policy decisions with large audiences (COCTEAU software). Fourth, TRIGGER aims to develop an integrated software platform for the design, co-creation, development, implementation and monitoring of public policy decisions (PERSEUS software).

TRIGGER has two overarching objectives: (1) To provide EU institutions with knowledge and tools to enhance their actorness, effectiveness and influence in global governance; and (2) to develop new ways to harness the potential of public engagement and participatory foresight in complex governance decisions."
"One year from kickoff, TRIGGER is advancing as originally planned. We also made slight changes to increase the relevance and coherence of the project.

In particular:
• The work on AGGREGATOR, our Atlas of Global Governance and EU Actorness, is coming to maturity, having produced a first conceptual framework for “actorness” (WP3). We are working on integrating various datasets into GLOBALSTAT, an already-existing repository of indicators on global governance.
• TRIGGER has launched its foresight and co-creation activities (WP5 and WP6). The foresight workshops, once finalised, will tell us how to integrate the vision of emerging trends into the overall picture of EU strategy in a changing world. And the first mockups of COCTEAU, our co-creation and sentiment analysis software, are very promising.
• We organised events in Brussels (March 2019) and Fiesole (November 2019), with the participation of many scholars, including our very high-level Scientific Committee members. We have also discussed the potential of the project inside EU institutions and in various events around Europe. TRIGGER is now also liaising with the World Academy of Arts and Science, in particular to contribute to the Sustainable Leadership programme the Academy launched with the United Nations.

Importantly, during the first year of the life of TRIGGER we have introduced the following additions and changes to the project.
• Enhanced data science work.
• Definition of deep dive areas. While two of the four areas for our deep dives (WP7) were already known at the time of project kickoff (SDGs and climate), two other areas had to be selected: development aid, with emphasis on EU-Africa; and digital policy, with emphasis on data protection. TRIGGER will produce analyses and insights in all these areas.
• Stronger coordination between Work Packages.

In the first year of the project, TRIGGER's impact has mostly materialized through contributions to the academic debate and events:
• A working paper on multi-level governance was accepted as a chapter in the Oxford Handbook of Trans-national Economic Governance (Brousseau and Glachant, Eds. Spring 2020) (see also figure 2);
• A new dataset of 142.000~ EU legal acts was published in the Harvard Dataverse and research based on this dataset was accepted to three conferences (PolMeth, Hamburg 13-15.03.20; COMPTEXT, Innsbruck 15-16.05.20; ECPR RegGov, Exeter 24-26.06.20);
• Research on the use of data science techniques and natural language processing to identify perceived actorness in news media has been accepted to the COMPTEXT conference, Innsbruck 15-16.05.20.
• Researchers contributed many papers and presentations on open software and internet governance, such as at the Street Science Festival, Munich, May 2019; the German Association for Political Science's International Political Economy workshop, Frankfurt, May 2019; at the International Public Policy Association, June 2019; the German Marshall Fund, Brussels, September 2019; and many more contributions are planned for 2020.
• Several events have and will be organised, e.g. a workshop on ""Governance of new technology"" in February 2020; or A public conference on ""Governance of and by digital technologies“ in November 2020;
• Several other upcoming publications will, e.g. sharpen the definition of EU “actorness” (see figure 1) and the relationship between technology and governance."
As the project progresses beyond the first year, expect to continue our contributions to the academic state of the art, but also beyond the academic sphere:

• Creating new knowledge: by building an unprecedented database of global governance and international regulatory cooperation schemes; by improving the understanding of the multi-faceted, ever-changing nature of global and EU governance and actorness; by improving on the state of the art knowledge on the use of foresight for public policy decision; by making inroads in the use of public engagement methods for complex decision-making; by integrating separate methods such as strategic foresight, public engagement, sentiment analysis into one consistent aid to decision-makers; etc.
• Creating tools, including the Atlas of Global Governance REGulation and Europe’s AcTORness (AGGREGATOR), the Co-Creating the EuropeAn Union (COCTEAU) app/software and the toolkit on Public Engagement for Responsive and Shared European Union Strategies (PERSEUS); guidance on how to assess the actorness, performance and effectiveness of governments in global governance contexts.

Based on the above, TRIGGER is likely to exert a multitude of impacts on various categories of stakeholders: on academic researchers from various fields; on policymakers in the EU, Member States, national/local governments and partner countries; on non-state actors in the EU and beyond; on European companies, through the design of smarter internal and external EU policies that may open up new economic opportunities and improve the overall business environment; on stakeholders more generally, through participatory initiatives; and on the general public, through an extensive dissemination and communications plan. Direct impacts are also foreseen on innovation capacity. Similarly, TRIGGER will impact market creation; climate change and SDGs (both subject to dedicated project tasks and ad hoc foresight or public engagement exercises.
TRIGGER's conceptual framework for Actorness
TRIGGER - graphical representation of EU multi-level governance