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ESPAS Report 'Global Trends 2030' pdf - 5 MB [5 MB]

ESPAS Report 'Global Trends 2030 – Citizens in an Interconnected and Polycentric World' assesses the long-term, international and domestic, political and economic environment facing the European Union over the next 20 years.

By 2030, the demands and concerns of citizens in many different countries of the world are likely to converge, with a major impact on national politics and international relations. This will be the result mainly of greater awareness among the world’s citizenry that their aspirations and grievances are shared. This awareness will create a global citizens’ agenda that emphasises fundamental freedoms, economic and social rights and, increasingly, environmental issues. By 2030, the information revolution will likely cover the entire planet. This revolution will empower citizens, including a large and growing global middle class. It can therefore be assumed that the citizens of 2030 will want a greater say in their future than previous generations. They are likely to be more aware of the threats they face together, and that they are part of a single human community in a highly interconnected world. But the emergence of a global public is also bound to generate increased expectations on governments.

Studies in the pipeline

Experts have been contracted to contribute to in-depth studies of the different areas covered by the working groups. The experts were selected following calls for tender published in 2012.


Studies will address the economic challenges facing the EU in the run-up to 2030 and their implications for EU policy. They will analyse the likely evolution of the global economy, with special emphasis on the key factors that drive growth and development in the long term. Experts will assess financial and trade-related issues, competitiveness and the impact of technological change on manufacturing, services and agriculture. Studies will also tackle resource scarcity, energy production and supply, and climate change.


Studies will assess the social challenges facing the EU in the run-up to 2030 and their implications for EU policy. They will analyse demographic change and human mobility, with special emphasis on social sustainability at both ends of the migratory process. Experts will also evaluate the effects of the growing empowerment of individuals and groups as a consequence of technological change, and its impact on consensus and legitimacy. Studies will also address identity, human rights, secularisation and radicalisation.


Studies will look at the global governance challenges facing the EU in the run-up to 2030 and their implications for its policy. They will assess prospects for multilateralism and global governance and analyse both the changing nature of power and the rise of new powers on the international stage. Experts will also deal with potential sources of instability and conflict, both worldwide and closer to the EU, with special emphasis on the tools and the approaches that may be necessary to address them.