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The Economic Affairs Committee approved the Action Plan of the Foresight Centre for the next year. The Action Plan will focus on five research topics: changing of global lines of power, international maritime economy, national and cross-border mobility, future health care and future of business environment.

Chairman of the Economic Affairs Committee Sven Sester said that the topics selected were of great importance, and the selection had been based on the proposals received from the committees and factions of the Riigikogu (Parliament of Estonia). “For example, one of the topics that will be dealt with is the package of amendments that will help ships come under the Estonian flag, on which the Economic Affairs Committee has also worked hard. Mapping of key maritime development factors by the Foresight Centre will provide a new angle of view to Estonia’s competitive position as the flag state. This will give better idea of the advantages that are important from the future perspective,” Sester said.

Member of the Economic Affairs Committee Annely Akkermann emphasised the research topic on the future developments of business environment. “Developments in Europe and the world will bring along new challenges and possibilities for the Estonian business environment. In-depth analysis of this topic should help find an answer to the question of how to keep Estonia’s business environment attractive in the changing world,” Akkermann said.

Head of the Foresight Centre Tea Danilov pointed out that the new research topics would tackle the future prospects contained in them. “We will be approaching the topics from a new angle and analyse the potential interaction of impact factors and development trends. We will outline the important decision points for policy shaping, so that it would be possible to mitigate the risks of future developments. Besides that, the Centre will provide a current overview of the work of the think tanks of the world, forwarding regular information on which topics get the most attention globally, what are the main conclusions and novel ideas, and what they mean for Estonia,” Danilov explained.

The purpose of the monitoring project analysing the changes of global power lines and their influence is to show the impact of global developments on Estonia and to create alternative development scenarios, focusing on the effects on Estonia. The issues of technological competition and the ownership and mobility of data have an increasing role in the possible reformation of power lines. Energy has an important place, taking into account that transition to low emission energy resources will significantly reshape the present division into energy exporting and importing countries.

The international shipping and maritime economy monitoring project is connected with the amendments package that will enter into force soon and facilitate the coming of ships under the Estonian flag. Mapping of the development trends affecting international shipping and analysing their interaction will give a new approach to the competitive position and advantages of Estonia as an attractive flag state.

The monitoring project that analyses the national and cross-border mobility of the people of Estonia observes different trends and developments in the location and mobility of people and their impact, highlighting also the political choices accompanying different development scenarios. Among other things, it is asked whether the lengthening of daily travels of people will continue, or the change of generations and the nature of work bring about a turnaround, and the new model of transport will require a more local approach.

The research topic of future health care approaches health care from consumer-centred position, asking which political choices in health care determine the results that are noticeably different for consumers. What alternative choices may there be for ordinary people, and what do they mean for the availability of services, the quality and financing from the point of view of an individual? Starting with individuals, the research will extend the impact of different scenarios also on the level of the system.

The central aim of the future of business environment research is to clarify the impact of different European and global trends on the business environment of Estonia. The study also focuses on how the notion of competitive business environment will change in the future, which factors will disappear and which will gain importance. The business environment study will be completed in 2021.

The action plan of foresight is approved by the Foresight Council.