The Netherlands of 2040

The Netherlands of 2040 develops four scenarios to increase our understanding of the long-term
economic future of the Netherlands.
This work builds on the shoulders of giants. Already in 1955, CPB published its first longrun study. Since this early study, the focus at CPB has been on building a number of scenarios
for policy analysis. Two landmark CPB scenario studies in this respect are Scanning the Future
(1992) and Four Futures of Europe (2003). They developed long-term scenarios for the world

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Europe in 2040: three scenarios

In this paper, we explore three scenarios for the future of the European Union, using history and
reasoned imagination as guides. Our three scenarios are rooted in European contemporary
challenges but draw on three ages that have shaped what Europe has become. Scenario 1 harks back
to Antiquity (“the Empty Empire”), scenario 2 to the Middle Age (“Return of the City-states”) and
scenario 3 to the Renaissance (“Renascent Europe”).

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