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Présentation intermédiaire publique de la vision stratégique pour l'économie luxembourgeoise en 2050

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Adrian Taylor

Jun 30, 2023

I very much enjoyed the Luxembourg Strategy event on 5 June 2023 presenting its draft vision for the Economy in 2050. Here is a country leading the way by setting out how to reach a zero-carbon future.

In brief, there are 10 “bricks”[1] (components or steps in the vision) that are designed to “build the house” (the vision as a whole that ensures Luxemburg is more resilient, more inclusive and more competitive). Resilience includes the use of foresight to make the country more agile (constantly looking for changes coming, and learning from them), a much greater focus on adaptation to climate change by ensuring that vital resources/services have back-ups and developing a greater strategic autonomy with a zero-carbon footprint. The latter especially requires a combination of stimulating the circular economy (reducing the need for new resources), increased efficiency in resource use (less for more) and greater sobriety in consumption (with a greater role to a shared economy and social/solidarity economy). The vision also promotes digitalisation to dematerialise the economy and make it more competitive but insists that digital’s social and ecological footprints must be handled. Diversification is important to remain competitive, and whilst keeping a focus on financial services, other sectors, notably, health will receive support. Indeed, people, and especially young people, are at the heart of the economy, and economic activity should address their needs, and ensure they are equipped to deal with any big upheavals that occur. To ensure the much of the above is done, it will be important to mobilise big budgets, and thus to find new sources of revenue. Competitivity can further be improved by shortening procedures and distances that need to be covered. For a country with open borders, keeping diplomatic pressure for European and global rules to cover important issue also remains vital.


I would stress three things here:


1. From a methodological point of view, it is important to note that the vision was not born out of the heads of a few people. This process involved 6 working level workshops (usually with 40-60 participants), several higher-level workshops, multiple workshops with stakeholders (industry, business, trade unions, communes), a public opinion survey (and "town hall meeting") and additional interviews. Naturally it was a challenge to channel all these inputs constructively, but the team rose to the task. Moreover, the team did not jump straight to creating a vision. Instead Luxembourg Stratégie developed three plausible scenarios (and one wild card) for futures in which Luxemburg may have to live. Having done this it was then possible to identify the "no regret" policy options and indeed, new opportunities appeared on the table that would not have been thought of before. This means that the vision bricks have been wind tunnelled for robustness in different scenarios.


2. The vision addresses a big problem we face in the move to a zero-carbon economy, which is how to take the majority of citizens with you when trying to make root and branch changes to the way we run our economy. As we have seen with the gilets jaunes in France, and the more recent screams against eliminating gas and oil heating systems in Germany, once citizens’ comfort and wallets are at stake public opinion seems no longer give a damn about their personal contributions to climate change.  The challenge will be even bigger when entire industries need to adapt. The approach taken is therefore to prepare the citizenry to take advantage of the new economy, rather than being stuck in the old.  Indeed, it is not a question of somebody "placing" citizens at the centre of things - they - and especially young people – will have not choice but to be front and centre in the coming years. The key thing now is to make sure they are empowered and equipped to deal with this new type of world.


3. It was vital to have a unit in government that pushes this reflection forward. Luxembourg Stratégie has played that role - and been the lightening rod for criticism that the government is daring to think "out of the box". In any case congratulations to Pascale Junker and Jean-Charles Buttolo for their hard work in pulling it together and also to the minister of economy, Franz Fayot, for having given the such a clear support to make this happen. It was a pleasure to have accompanied them in this journey.



[1] The 10 bricks are (translated by DEEPL):

i. Improving open strategic autonomy to renew national production: an economy less dependent on imports and shocks to international markets and strong national production are assets;

ii. Applying circularity and sobriety throughout the economy and society: circularity and sobriety contribute to greater autonomy in production and consumption, as well as decarbonisation and efficiency in the use of resources;

iii. Putting young people and knowledge at the heart of the economy: societal and organisational innovation can be a lever for developing business creation, employment and social cohesion, and for meeting new social needs;

iv. Reconciling the digital, ecological and social transitions: while digital technologies can facilitate the emergence of a more sustainable future, they also have a significant environmental footprint and shape our social relations;

v. Investing in critical redundancy, strategic storage and mission-critical solutions: if the economy is to be more resilient in the face of shocks and recover more quickly from disruption, essential goods and services need to be stockpiled and protected;

vi. Simplifying procedures, shortening paths, facilitating transfers: improving the business environment for entrepreneurs, investors and researchers by streamlining procedures, to invigorate the entrepreneurial culture and attract talent;

vii.Adapting the healthcare system to new challenges, an economic opportunity: we need to anticipate new pandemics and new disease vectors and use the digital transition to reduce costs and improve the quality of care;

viii. Adopting an integrated strategy of sustainable economic diplomacy: forging strong diplomatic and commercial links with other countries that share our values, to make the many transitions we face more successful;

ix. Ensuring sustainable and solid public finances: in a context of multiple transitions requiring major investments, long-term programming of public finances is essential;

x. Turning anticipation into a comparative economic advantage: anticipation and an early warning system make it possible to identify vulnerabilities and opportunities in advance. They also make it possible to reduce the costs associated with transitions.

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anhtuanhoang5

July 26, 2023 at 11:43:37 AM

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