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In the last decades, the European society has been facing many different challenges. Our society is being transformed by climate change, demographic imbalances, migration pressures and lately the Covid-19 pandemic.

Furthermore, the EU Strategic Agenda 2019-2024 pushes for a paradigm shift towards the green and digital transitions, leaving no one behind. In this context, Europe needs to further strengthen its resilience, to be able to be more prepared for future shocks and to emerge stronger by intensifying the transitions.

What is resilience?

The 2020 Strategic Foresight Report puts forward resilience as a new compass for EU policies. Resilience is defined as the ability not only to withstand and cope with challenges but also to undergo transitions, in a sustainable, fair, and democratic manner.

This narrative takes a multidisciplinary perspective and adopts a wide, 360-degrees approach. Building a more resilient society calls for strengthening the mechanisms of shock absorption and enhancing the capacity for adaptation and transformation.

It sets the basis for long-term strategic objectives in the context of the transition-led Commission agenda. Ultimately, it urges to shift towards a paradigm of a more sustainable growth and societal development path.

This revamped focus on resilience calls for monitoring. The 2020 Strategic Foresight Report proposed to develop resilience dashboards in four interrelated dimensions: social and economic, geopolitical, green, and digital.

What has the JRC been doing so far?

The first major step was a high-level conference in 2015, which brought together scholars and policy makers to discuss “Building a resilient Europe in a globalised world” in a holistic way.

In 2016, together with the Secretariat General and representatives of each Commission department, the JRC and the European Political Strategy Centre (EPSC) established the Research Network for the Measurement of Resilience (

This network represented a coordinated effort to put resilience thinking into policymaking. Its result was the JRC conceptual framework on resilience, which provides a theoretical background and defines key concepts and ingredients. It sets the basis for many contributions about the measurement of resilience in different fields.

The Covid-19 pandemic provided a concrete situation when one should not try to ‘bounce back’ to the pre-crisis conditions. Transformative resilience calls for policies that facilitate bouncing forward towards a better and more sustainable pathway from an economic, social and environmental point of view.

The 2020 Strategic Foresight Report announced resilience as a new compass for EU policies and proposed the development of prototype resilience dashboards for its monitoring. Based on the prototypes, the European Commission has engaged in a collaborative process towards the development of fully-fledged resilience dashboards involving Member States and other key stakeholders.