Interview with Nadia Calviño, Deputy Prime Minister of Spain and Minister of Economic Affairs and Digital Transformation

Nadia Calviño. Source: Ministry of Economic affairs and Digital Transformation of Spain.

Strategic thinking is something that happens at all levels of government, be it local, national or European level. How do they align with each other and how does a government reconcile national strategies with European or local ones, and vice versa? Nadia Calviño has been Deputy Prime Minister of Spain since 2020 and Minister of Economic Affairs and Digital Transformation since 2018. Before she worked for many years in the European Commission, from 2014 onwards as Director-General for Budget. …


Interview with Maroš Šefčovič, Vice-President of the European Commission for Interinstitutional Relations and Foresight

Maroš Šefčovič. Source: European Commission.

Since 2019, Vice-President Maroš Šefčovič has been entrusted with looking after the Commission’s strategic foresight activities. This is the first time that the College has a Member in charge of strategic foresight. In her mission letter to the Vice-President, President Ursula von der Leyen underlined this Commission’s focus on the long-term interests of the Union’s citizens, also in view of the transitions to be tackled, including the green and digital ones. The COVID-19 pandemic has also stressed even more how important it is to be able to anticipate unforeseen events, which strategic foresight can help to do. Resilience, as the…


Interview with Rafael Ramirez, Director of the Oxford Scenarios Programme and Professor of Practice, and Trudi Lang, Senior Fellow in Management Practice, of the Saïd Business School, University of Oxford

Rafael Ramirez and Trudy Lang

What is scenario planning? How does it relate to strategy development and what does a scenario planner actually do? And why is it relevant for any organisation, including those in the public sector such as public audit institutions? To find out we had a ‘dual interview’ with Rafael Ramirez, Professor of Practice and one of the world’s leading experts on scenario planning, author of several publications on this topic and advising various organisations and governments regarding strategy and scenario planning. And with his colleague Trudi Lang, who has extensive experience in strategy and strategic foresight (World Economic Forum and OECD)…


Interview with Ann Mettler, Vice President Europe at Breakthrough Energy.

Ann Mettler. Source: Breakthrough Energy.

The current age of technology is characterised by complexity but also by volatility. Policymakers have to take account of both these aspects. For Ann Mettler it is clear that the impact of technology spills over into many more areas than you may initially realise. Ann Mettler has more than two decades of experience in high-level public policy and strategy, operating at the intersection of technology, innovation, foresight and strategy. Until 2019, she served as Director-General at the European Commission’s internal strategy department, now she works at Breakthrough Energy, an organization established by Bill Gates to help the development and deployment…


From left to right: European Council President Charles Michel, European Parliament President David Sassoli, and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen

As the EU’s independent external auditor, the ECA’s strategy also matters to other EU institutions. We have invited the presidents of the European Parliament, the European Council and the European Commission to give a short reaction to the ECA’s new 2021–2025 strategy adopted in early 2021. Below you will find the reactions of respectively European Parliament President David Sassoli, European Council President Charles Michel and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, preceded by an introduction from the ECA’s own President, Klaus-Heiner Lehne.

By Gaston Moonen

ECA President Klaus-Heiner Lehne introducing the new ECA Strategy


Editorial by Gaston Moonen

‘Action instead of talking!’ That is what my late father used to say. At the same time, talking about what you want to do and how to do it best is also important. Even more so in today’s world, which is driven by technological innovations (see pages 8 and 13) but characterised by major disruptions and seemingly uncontrollable events, such as climate change or the COVID-19 pandemic. Being prepared for what may come has perhaps become more difficult, but also more necessary. We have to be resilient. Getting a clear perspective on what you — as…


Carolyn Moser, one of the two 2020 ECA Award winners. Source: Carolyn Moser.

2020 ECA Award winner

Carolyn Moser is one of the two winners of the 2020 ECA Award, with EU added value as the theme, for her book Accountability in EU Security and Defence — The Law and Practice of Peacebuilding. In her book she looks closely at the accountability framework in EU security and defence policy, an area for which intergovernmental cooperation is key. Her research shows that through coordinated and coherent decision-making the EU could grow as a substantial player in peacebuilding activities, thereby providing added value at EU level. Carolyn Moser has trained in both law and political…


Source: Unsplash

Greening the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) is one of the slogans of the EU’s shift towards a more sustainable form of agriculture, and has been for more than a decade. The Commission’s current ‘Farm to Fork’ strategy is the most recent initiative to green the entire food system, including agriculture. This reform, as initially proposed, had the potential to achieve the kind of value that actions at the level of individual Member States could not achieve. However, the outcome of the negotiations on the Commission’s legislative proposals for the 2021–2027 period seem to punch a lot lower than originally intended…


Antoine Dumartinet

2020 ECA Award winner

Antoine Dumartinet is one of the two ex aequo winners of the 2020 ECA Award. His paper discusses the use of the EU added value concept during the negotiations on the post-2020 Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF), particularly in relation to EU policies such as agriculture and cohesion under shared management. Antoine Dumartinet currently works as an expert for the German agency for technical cooperation — Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit, GIZ — at the Serbian Ministry of European Integration. Below, he provides the main aspects covered in his award winning contribution.

By Antoine Dumartinet, Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit — GIZ…


Dutch Central Banker Klaas Knot’s agenda for a stronger currency union

Source: Peterschreiber.media/Shutterstock

The euro is one of the key results — and symbols — of cooperation between Member States in the European Union. Sharing a single currency can maximise economic efficiency. At the same time, for economies with low productivity growth, the euro can be a relative burden. Ultimately, diverging economies can even undermine public support for a common currency. So what does that say about the euro as the epitome of EU added value? Klaas Knot, President of De Nederlandsche Bank — the Dutch Central Bank — puts forward a number of advantages of the euro but also pleads for measures…

European Court of Auditors

Articles from the European Court of Auditors, #EU's external auditor & independent guardian of the EU's finances.

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