National Assembly Futures Institute

Congressional think tank designing
national future strategies

Future Research

(23-02 Series Report) Future response policy: Medium to long-term strategy for Population change and government
Previously unexperienced demographic changes, such as population decline and rapid aging, are presenting new challenges for South Korea. Are we adequately prepared for the future amid these rapid changes? Is the government effectively addressing these issues from a medium to long-term perspective? This study aims to examine the government's medium to long-term strategy related to population changes and derive insights by investigating policies related to elderly health, defense personnel, immigration, and regional policies for population decline. In examining the policies for an aging society and elderly health, the study finds that national-level medium to long-term plans provide fundamental policy directions for establishing a healthy and humane aging society and can be linked to indicators for future society response. Looking into population decline and defense personnel policies, the study observes that the basic defense reform plan can be influenced by changes in administration and the target of maintaining a standby military force size of 500,000 in the mid-term defense plan is practically challenging to achieve. Regarding population decline and immigration policies, a significant portion of the budget is being used for multicultural family support, while policy considerations for foreign laborers and other related aspects have been inadequate. An examination of regional policies for population decline reveals that they primarily focus on economic aspects in responding to population decline, highlighting the need for a more multifaceted strategy. While it is possible to link the government's medium to long-term strategies through a framework of indicators for future society response, it is also necessary to establish a more detailed and multi-dimensional framework for evaluating government policies. From the perspective of long-term future readiness, it is essential to strengthen the government's planning and systematic approach in allocating budgets related to population changes, such as population decline and aging. Furthermore, establishing a mechanism for monitoring the national medium to long-term strategy at the legislative level is required.

2023.12.31

Future Research

(23-11 Research Report) Futures strategies based on indicators 2023
Dialoguing with citizens regarding the future is the core part of a research project in which researchers forecast the future together with citizens who discuss their preferred future society. The research is meaningful in that the future should not be the exclusive domain of a few experts or the government, but should rather be completed with the participation of various individuals while carefully considering the daily lives of citizens. This year, we met a variety of citizens, including residents of Busan, young politicians, atomic bomb victims, nuclear power plant villagers, multicultural immigrant women, youth in family care, teachers at alternative schools, local graduate school students in the humanities and social sciences, attorneys for juvenile offenders, women defected from North Korea and their children, and sexual minorities. Together, we forecasted several possible futures and discussed which of them we hoped would come to fruition and what necessary policies they would entail. When looking at the future, these people said that they wish there would be more opportunities like this. This study analyzes what kind of future our society should pursue from the perspective of minorities and the weak. These efforts are an essential process to realize a mature society that takes care of minorities and the vulnerable community above all else according to the preferred future presented by the National Assembly Futures Institute for 2021. Researchers prefer the expression ‘emerging citizens’ rather than minorities and the vulnerable community. Minorities and the weak in our society are considered objects of one-sided benefits that society must take care of. However, the researchers believe that the problems they raise are ones that our society must solve for the future. In that respect, they are not beneficiaries but rather innovators in our society. Citizens who participated and cooperated in this year's research testify that we can create a new future together with them. We would like to express our deepest gratitude to the researchers who pursued the study by meeting citizens from various fields, conducted in-depth interviews, and held future outlook workshops. Additionally, we would like to express our deepest gratitude to the local citizens, social activists, experts, and young people who participated in the research. We believe that future alternatives can be found in the activities of these people, and that policies developed together with them will be useful. Dialogue about the future with emerging citizens must continue. We hope that the results of this study can be used as productive data to present and advance an alternative future in our society.

2023.12.31

Future Research

(23-10 Research Report) Futures strategies based on indicators 2023
To address complex and uncertain social challenges entangled in various stakeholder interests within a volatile policy environment, rational decision-making based on scientific and objective data is required. The National Assembly, as the representative body of the people and the ultimate decision-making institution for national policies, is expanding its role. As such, there is a need to provide data-driven empirical analysis materials from a medium to long-term perspective to support the activities of the National Assembly in examining national policies. This study aims to construct a comprehensive and specific indicator system that can be easily understood and perceived by the public to diagnose and empirically analyze social changes. This will enhance the resilience and preparedness of future society. Specifically, it seeks to assess whether our society is adequately prepared and responsive to demographic mega-trends such as low birth rates, population aging, and changes in population structure, and then to subsequently derive policy implications. Given the world's lowest birth rates, an aging society, and demographic changes, demographic factors have a long-term and wide-ranging impact on society, necessitating strategies for preparation and response. While demographic changes in South Korea may have negative implications for maintaining the current economic and social system, there are also opportunities that can bring about new societal changes. A smart-growth society envisions a prosperous future that develops the economy and society through technological and institutional innovations. In the era of an aging population, digital accessibility and capabilities for the elderly are gradually improving through technology and institutional innovation, but the level of digital information literacy among the elderly remains low, confirming the need for policy support. Looking at indicators for a sustainable and secure society reveals that the utilization rates of childcare facilities and kindergartens are on the rise, and greenhouse gas emissions and the proportion of renewable energy generation have improved compared to the previous year. Examining indicators related to a cooperative society that respects diversity shows that the gender inequality index has decreased internationally. Examination of future society response indicators confirms that the establishment of sub-indicators for youth, the elderly, women, and others is necessary for formulating strategies to address population-related issues such as low birth rates and population aging. Regular management plans for the indicator system for future society, as derived from this study, need to be established. To achieve this, it is necessary to develop a roadmap for setting future vision, deriving core strategies, and identifying key monitoring indicators through a specific process and at specific intervals.

2023.12.31

News Release

The National Assembly Futures Institute successfully hosted the 1st National Assembly Youth Future Forum under the ...
The National Assembly Futures Institute successfully hosted the 1st National Assembly Youth Future Forum under the theme of “Beyond the Conflicts of Korea-China-Japan Towards the Future.” - Members of the National Assembly, experts, and the younger generation came together to diagnose the causes of conflicts between Korea, China, and Japan and explore future-oriented approaches to building relationships. - On October 5th at 2:00 PM, the National Assembly Futures Institute, under the leadership of President Kim Hyeon Kon, successfully hosted the 1st National Assembly Youth Future Forum on the theme of “Beyond the Conflicts of Korea-China-Japan Towards the Future.” The forum took place in the 3rd Seminar Room of the National Assembly Members’ Office Building. President Kim Hyeong Kon stated in the opening remarks, “It is significant that the Youth Future Committee selected the topic and organized the event itself.” “I believe it is an important opportunity to discuss the topic of ‘Beyond the Conflicts of Korea-China-Japan Towards the Future’ at the national level, which is somewhat difficult for the younger generation,” he added. In his congratulatory speech, Lee Kwang-jae, Secretary-General of the National Assembly, emphasized, “Just as the European Coal and Steel Community heralded the birth of the EU in the past, I believe that a city alliance for the economic growth and prosperity of Northeast Asia is necessary through joint energy purchases among South Korea, China, and Japan.” He further highlighted “the need for cultural exchange, including the Northeast Asia integration channel, multilingual subtitles, language standardization, and railway connections.” Cho Junghun, a member of the National Assembly's Global Diplomacy and Security Forum, expressed, “Despite the significant potential in South Korea, China, and Japan in Northeast Asia, there are many difficulties.” He also expressed hope that “the forum would generate practical discussions on the conflicts and future of South Korea, China, and Japan, despite the growing negative sentiment among the younger generation towards foreigners.” At the event, Kim Sun-bin, a member of the Youth Future Committee of the National Assembly Futures Institute, delivered a presentation on the topic of “Perception of South Korea, China, and Japan Among the Youth Generation: Conflicts and Cooperation.” He pointed out that the discriminatory views and conflicts toward international students among the current youth generation are attributed to a lack of mutual understanding, negative generalizations about them, and a deficiency in opportunities for constructive dialogue and discussion. However, given that the younger generation tends to separate “friendliness” and “importance” in perception depending on the issue, he emphasized the need to utilize this as a strategic approach for the progressive future development of South Korea, China, and Japan. To achieve this, he proposed the following alternatives: (1) Establishment of a Youth Committee within the Foreign Affairs and Unification Committee of the National Assembly; (2) Expansion of the Committee’s parliamentary youth exchange program to include South Korea, China, and Japan; (3) Policy improvement through bipartisan diplomatic cooperation: Institutionalization of a South Korea-China-Japan Parliamentary Union; (4) Implementation of party-level control mechanisms to avoid political strifes in education and diplomacy; and (5) The necessity to avoid media coverage that leads to the interpretation of diplomatic issues as political strifes. In the disucssion moderated by Bek Bumhym, Deputy Secretary-General of the Trilateral Cooperation Secretariat, Lee Wook Yeon, Professor of the Department of Chinese Language and Literature at Sogang University, explained that the hatred between South Korea, China, and Japan is commonly rooted in insecure nationalism. He stressed the importance of providing answers to the younger generation on why South Korea should thrive and encouraging communication to discuss the challenges that young people are currently facing. Lee Yoon-sik, Director of the Diplomacy and Security Center at the Yeouido Institute, pointed out that there are many differences among South Korea, China, and Japan, including in population, religion, political systems, language, territory, and historical backgrounds. In other words, there are many practical difficulties and obstacles for them to cooperate. With the premise that it is not easy for the three countries to cooperate at the same time, he expressed that there is a need for tailored cooperation strategies. Lee Seung-won, Deputy Director of the Policy Institute of Justice Party, highlighted the importance of having various channels in Korea-China-Japan relations. he also emphasized that many young people from the three countries should be able to meet on various issues. Jung Mi-ae, Special Research Fellow at the Sejong Institute, explained that the most important thing for the development of a society is pluralism that values diversity. She emphasized that it is crucial not to generalize negative biases held by others. Although there are concerns over the growing dichotomy of in Korean society, she stressed that through forums like this, the younger generation should create ways to cooperate in various aspects. Lee Se-hun, a reporter for the Kangwon Domin Ilbo, mentioned that within the media ecosystem, there is a common voice emphasizing the need for relationship improvement through cooperation, rather than seeking dominance through conflict and competition, in the context of South Korea-China-Japan issues. He highlighted the role of the media as a place where the younger generation obtains information related to diplomacy and stressed the need for solution journalism, leveraging the specificity of reporting and the communication channel. Kim Min-seo, Vice President of the OVAL KOREA, an organization formed by Korean, Chinese, and Japanese university students, expressed the challenges faced in continuing exchanges amid diplomatic difficulties. She added that apart from political issues, there are also difficulties in communication due to the language differences. Kim called for interest and support in realizing neutral policies that allow exchanges between Korea, China, and Japan to continue without being constrained by political situations, emphasizing the lack of support from the National Assembly or the government. Shin Yoo-ri, a member of the Youth Future Committee at the National Assembly Futures Institute, stated that hate speech, bias, and hostility are increasing on online and social media platforms. To address this issue, she outlined the need for: (1) Establishing a digital exchange program in Northeast Asia; (2) Strengthening exchanges for youth in Northeast Asia; (3) Creating an independent youth assembly; (4) Multifaceted support from international organizations, regional entities, institutions, and political foundations; and (5) Securing a sustainable shared platform for resolving common challenges in Northeast Asia. The purpose of this forum is to focus on how the politicization of diplomatic issues by domestic political circles and the media has influenced actual diplomatic policies, to provide an opportunity for members of the National Assembly, experts from various fields, and representatives from the younger generation to come together to diagnose the causes of conflicts among South Korea, China, and Japan, and explore ways to build future-oriented relationships.

2023.10.05

News Release

The National Assembly Futures Institute hosted a global roundtable on “The Role of the National Assembly Leading ...
The National Assembly Futures Institute hosted a global roundtable on “The Role of the National Assembly Leading Green Transition.” - A venue for understanding the EU's green transition policy and technological developments, and discussions of future collaboration directions between South Korea and the EU. - The National Assembly Futures Institute (President: Kim Hyeon Kon) will host a global roundtable as part of its parliamentary diplomacy research under the theme of “The Role of the National Assembly Leading Green Transition: Focused on Science and Technology Cooperation between South Korea and the EU.” The event will take place on September 5th at 2:00 PM at the National Assembly Library's National Strategy Information Center. The purpose of this event is to share insights into the policy changes and technological cooperation needs of the EU, which is leading the green transition, and to discuss the direction of collaboration with the Korean legislature. The event will be conducted in English, with simultaneous English-Korean interpretation provided. President Kim Hyeon Kon will deliver the opening remarks, and congratulatory remarks will be given by Representative Lee Sangmin of the Democratic Party of Korea and Leader Kim Gihyeon of the People Power Party, Chairs of the Korea-EU Parliamentary Diplomacy Forum. The presentation will focus on “Green Transition Future Agendas and Technological Development.” Jorg Weberndorfer, Minister Counsellor of the Delegation of the EU to South Korea, will discuss the current status and future agendas of the EU’s green transition and green technological development policies. Kim Eun-ah, Head of the Innovation Growth Group at the National Assembly Futures Institute, will present on Korea's policy status and future agendas. The panel discussion, titled “The Role of Legislatures in Facilitating Green Transition through Korea-EU Technological Cooperation,” will feature presentations from individual embassy representatives of France (Jean-Claude Masy), Denmark (Jacob Navarro Rasmussen), and the Netherlands (Peter Wijlhuizen). They will share recent policy trends and technological cooperation needs for each country. Following this, Korean panelists (Han JeongHun, Professor at Seoul National University Graduate School of International Studies, and Cha Jungmi, Director of Center for International Strategies at the National Assembly Futures Institute) will discuss the role of legislatures. President Kim Hyeon Kon emphasized, “Through this event, we expect a diverse exchange of ideas regarding understanding of the EU’s green transition policies, technological development, and the future direction of Korea-EU cooperation.”

2023.08.31

News Release

The 7th National Debate on “Local Extinction Crisis” was Successfuly Held
The 7th National Debate on “Local Extinction Crisis” was Successfuly Held - Kim Jin Pyo, Speaker of the National Assembly, stated, “The local crisis is a national crisis, and the National Assembly and central and local governments should explore alternatives together."- - Presented five major strategies for the local era, including decentralization, education reform, innovative growth, specialized development, and social welfare. - - Members of the National Assembly, the Minister of the Interior and Safety, governors, scholars, journalists should work together to come up with alternatives.- On August 30, at 9:00 AM, the Republic of Korea’s National Assembly, under the leadership of Speaker Kim Jin Pyo, successfully held the 7th National Debate at the 1st meeting room of the Member’s Office Building under the theme of “Discussing the Local Crisis and the Role of the National Assembly” In his opening remarks, Speaker Kim Jin Pyo stated, “The local crisis should be recognized as a national crisis, and the National Assembly, central government, and local governments should work together to find alternatives.” He also emphasized the need to “make efforts for graduates of local universities to find good jobs in local areas and overhaul policies to attract foreign students and support their settlement.” In his congratulatory remarks, Kim Kyoheung, Chairperson of the National Assembly’s Public Administration and Security Committee, said, “Low birth rates are a problem for the entire Republic of Korea, but population migration to the capital region has a fatal impact on local areas.” “Local areas should become places of hope where young people can achieve personal success,” he added. Lee Sang-min, Minister of the Interior and Safety, stated, “We need to move away from centralized policies and transition to a system where local governments take a leading role, with the central government supporting them.” He added, “I will strive to realize an era where every part of South Korea is a good place to live.” Woo Dong-gi, Chairperson of the Local Era Committee, delivered a keynote speech on the theme of “Vision and Strategy for the Local Era.” He emphasized five key strategies for the local era: (1) Substantial decentralization to enhance autonomy; (2) Audacious education reform to nurture talent; (3) Innovative growth to increase employment; (4) Specialized development led by regions; and (5) Tailored living welfare to improve the quality of life. Also, he proposed five key challenges for the local era: (1) Establishing a decentralized national governance system; (2) Promoting industrial activity and investment in local areas; (3) Innovating education and revitalizing local universities; (4) Relocating public institutions in the capital region to local areas; and (5) Promoting local innovation based on intelligence. During the discussion session moderated by Kim Young-mi, President of the Korean Association for Policy Studies and Professor at Sangmyung University, Lee Cheol-woo, President of the Governors Association of the Republic of Korea and Governor of Gyeongsangbuk-do, diagnosed that the local era cannot be realized within the framework of the central government. He added that to secure autonomy for local areas, the National Assembly has to minimize regulations through legislation, and to create a true local era, bureaucratic authoritarianism in the central government must be overcome. Kim Yeong-rok, Governor of Jeollanam-do, called for a bold and innovative transfer of authority from the central government to local governments, suggesting that the central government should only handle tasks that local governments cannot and transfer the rest to local governments. He proposed the relocation of large corporations and public institutions to local regions, the expansion of autonomy for local governments when establishing comprehensive plans for the local era, and the creation of a deputy prime minister-level position representing and executing the interests of local governments. Song Jaeho, Co-Chairperson of the National Assembly’s Balanced Regional Development Forum, emphasized the need to differentiate tasks that the central government, cities and provinces, and cities, counties, and districts should perform and redefine their roles. He called for the swift relocation of the National Assembly to Sejong City to address administrative inefficiency issues and recommended restructuring local administrative efficiency through the conversion of educational facilities, such as kindergartens and primary, middle, and high schools, in the regions. Park Woo-ryang, Chairperson of the Korea Local Governments Alliance for Sustainable Development and Governor of Sinan-gun, stressed the importance of minimizing regulations when enacting or amending related laws, suggesting that autonomy should be granted to cities and provinces, and cities, counties, and districts through ordinances. He also emphasized the need for an appropriate distribution of authority between cities and provinces and cities, counties, and districts. Ma Kang-rae, Professor at Chung-Ang University, suggested considering the social costs of imbalanced development. He emphasized the need for strategies such as urban strategies to address the concentration in the metropolitan area, a 'two-track' strategy for small and medium-sized cities and rural areas, and strategies to promote vitality in rural areas through the return of baby boomers to their hometowns. Huh Won-soon, a head editorial writer at the Korea Economic Daily, mentioned that the relocation of companies to local areas could be more effective in reducing individual income tax for employees than corporate tax reductions. To activate the local population, he proposed the idea of a “1.5 resident registration system” where people could live in other regions on weekends. The discussion was attended by Kim Young Joo, Deputy Speaker of the National Assembly, Kim Kyoheung, Chairperson of the National Assembly’s Public Administration and Security Committee, and National Assembly members Kwon Insook, Kim Hyungdong, Song Jaeho, Yang Jungsuk, Lee Manhee, and Lee Inseon. From the National Assembly agencies, participants included Lee Kwang-jae, Secretary-General of the National Assembly, Kwon Young-jin, Deputy Legislative Director of the National Assembly, Park Jangho, Deputy Secretary-General of the National Assembly, Lee Myung Woo, Chief Librarian of the National Assembly Library, Cho Euysup, Chief of National Assembly Budget Office, Park Sang-Chul, Chief of the National Assembly Research Service, and Kim Hyeon Kon, President of the National Assembly Futures Institute. The National Debate, organized and hosted by the National Assembly Secretariat and National Assembly Futures Institute, was broadcast live on the National Assembly TV and its YouTube channel, and the debate materials are available on the National Assembly Futures Institute website.

2023.08.30

News Release

The National Assembly Futures Institute held a discussion on future issues with a delegation from the Swedish ...
The National Assembly Futures Institute held a discussion on future issues with a delegation from the Swedish Parliament’s Industry and Trade Committee - Discussion on the future of the international order and the role of East Asia, including China. - On August 28th, the National Assembly Futures Institute, under the leadership of President Kim Hyeon Kon, held a discussion on future issues with the delegation from the Industry and Trade Committee of the Swedish Parliament at the National Assembly Library’s National Strategy Information Center. The discussion, initiated with greetings from President Kim Hyeon Kon and Tobias Andersson, Chairperson of the Industry and Trade Committee, proceeded with a presentation by Cha Jungmi, Director of Center for International Strategies at the National Assembly Futures Institute, followed by a question-and-answer session and discussions. Director Cha introduced the research results on “The Future of the World Order in 2050” and “The Future of Technological Competition between the United States and China.” During the discussion, members of the Industry and Trade Committee inquired about the preferred future for 2050 and South Korea’s de-risking strategy. The research team from the Futures Institute expressed interest in Sweden’s competition strategies on technological hegemony and the security policies of the European Union. Panelists agreed that East Asian variables, including China, would play a crucial role in shaping the future of the international order, including Europe. The delegation, consisting of 10 members, including Chairperson Tobias Andersson, visited South Korea to examine the country’s industrial situation. Following their first official schedule, visiting the National Assembly’s Trade, Industry, Energy, SMEs, and Startups Committee, the delegation had a discussion session with the National Assembly Futures Institute on major future issues. In addition to the delegation from the Swedish Parliament’s Industry and Trade Committee, Daniel Wolvén, the Swedish Ambassador to Korea, also attended the discussion. Following the discussion, the Swedish Parliament and the National Assembly Futures Institute agreed to continue mutual cooperation on future issues.

2023.08.28

News Release

The 6th National Debate on “Ventures and Startups” was Successfuly Held
The 6th National Debate on “Ventures and Startups” was Successfuly Held - Kim Jin Pyo, Speaker of the National Assembly, stated, “Comprehensive innovation of financial institutions into technology investment finance is needed, along with an increase in specialized technical personnel.”- - Lee Young, Minister of SMEs and Startups, stated, “A policy paradigm shift from existing venture and startup fostering strategies is needed.”- - Choi Hang-jip, Head of the Startup Alliance, stated, “Need to make the Venture Business Act permanent, eliminate venture capital regulations, and improve online platform and data regulations.”- On July 19, at 9:30 AM, the Republic of Korea’s National Assembly, under the leadership of Speaker Kim Jin Pyo, successfully held the 6th National Debate at the main meeting room of the Member’s Office Building under the theme of “Promotion of Ventures and Startups: Legislative and Policy Agendas” In his opening speech, Speaker Kim Jin Pyo said that “the venture and startup ecosystem must undergo a complete transformation for South Korea to leap as a global leader.” He also highlighted “the need to innovate financial institutions into technology investment finance and to foster technical experts for the activation of M&A.” In her congratulatory remarks, Lee Jaejung, Chairperson of the Trade, Industry, Energy, SMEs, and Startups Committee, pointed out that “the overall understanding of the venture and startup ecosystem still remains poor. The National Assembly, government, and the field must communicate together to increase investment.” Back Hyeryun, Chairperson of the National Policy Committee, said, “Investment policies for ventures and startups need to evolve from quantitative growth to qualitative development. It is time to discuss rational improvements to the domestic policy fund system.” Lee Young, Minister of SMEs and Startups, stated, “A global economy where national borders have become meaningless is emerging due to digital transformation and platform development. We need to reconsider the effectiveness of previous strategies for nurturing ventures and startups, and it is a time that demands a paradigm shift in policies.” In his welcoming address, Lee Kwang-jae, Secretary-General of the National Assembly, mentioned, “As of the end of December 2021, the number of employees in venture companies is 830,000, exceeding the employment of the four major conglomerates by 110,000, with 720,000 employees. The hiring inducement coefficient (10.6) and the employment inducement coefficient (12.9) in the software industry are higher than the overall industry average (employment coefficient 8.5, job creation coefficient 12.5). Following industrialization and democratization, South Korea, has experienced stagnation, but we should become a startup nation in the future.” In his presentation, Choi Hang-jip, Head of the Startup Alliance, stated, “We need to make the Venture Business Act permanent and solve venture capital regulations that are divided into startup investment companies and new technology business finance companies.” He also highlighted “the need for careful consideration of online platform regulations and regulatory improvements for effective data utilization.” During the discussion session moderated by Cho Junhee, Chairman of the Korea Software Industry Association, Kim Byungwook, a member of the National Assembly and participating member of the National Assembly Unicorn Farm, emphasized the need “to create numerous successful models of regional-based startups through collaboration among local businesses, universities, local governments, and the central government.” Chung Ilyoung, a member of the National Assembly and participating member of the National Assembly New Growth Industry Forum, stated, “There is a need to expand the investment budget for the fund of funds to increase the inflow of private funds within the venture and startup ecosystem.” Park Yong-soon, Director General for Startup Policy at the Ministry of SMEs and Startups, highlighted, “Investment effects can occur when a network of collaboration between manpower training and various innovation entities is established.” He also emphasized plans “to expand support to regions with the potential for self-sustaining venture ecosystems, create regional innovation clusters, and revise regulations to align with globalization, including attracting foreign talent and supporting overseas corporations.” Lee Hyung-joo, Director of the Financial Policy Bureau at the Financial Services Commission, stated, “By improving regulations related to venture capital, we will strive to enhance the capital supply function through the market, expand the scale of policy finance, secure qualitative transformation, and establish a venture and startup capital market that investors can trust.” Sung Sang-yeop, President of the Korea enture Business Association, emphasized, “We need innovative ideas, such as introducing a ‘collective investment scheme’ as another innovative system that can revitalize ventures.” He also highlighted, “Innovation in university regulations for nurturing venture and startup talent and various institutional arrangements for attracting foreign talent are necessary.” Ryu Kyung-jae, Director of Policy at the Korea Startup Forum, said, “We need to urgently overhaul outdated regulations and support startups’ innovation so that they can grow into global companies.” He also exphasized that “we need to promote private-led self-regulation for online platform regulations.” Lim Kyung-eop, a reporter at Chosun Ilbo, said, “As challenges emerge with the expiration of the regulatory sandbox validity period, there is a need to promote swift regulatory improvements through strengthening the function of regulatory law revision.” Leading up to this debate, during a meeting convened by the Speaker of the National Assembly on May 10th, most participants from the venture and startup industry unanimously emphasized the need for regulatory reforms and expanded support to enhance the vitality of the venture and startup ecosystem. They called for legislative efforts at the parliamentary level to achieve these goals. Based on the consensus regarding the proposals from the meeting, the National Assembly has formulated a total of 25 follow-up measures encompassing legislative actions, budget considerations, regulatory easing, and administrative measures, aiming to bring about changes in the field. Parliament-affiliated institutions have established a collaborative research system for fostering innovative growth and promoting ventures and startups. Based on this, legislative matters were derived, including the enforcement of the Act On Special Measures For The Promotion Of Venture Businesses on a regular basis and regulatory improvements related to venture capital. Meanwhile, regarding the theme of this debate, the National Assembly held an “Idea Contest for Fostering Ventures and Startups” from June 23 to July 13, targeting the general public. A total of 1,153 individuals participated in the event. When categorizing the submitted ideas by type, 33% focused on “expanding funding and support for new challenges,” 25% on “support for global market entry,” 21% on “regulatory innovation to foster new technologies,” 11% on “cultivating a culture supporting ventures and startups,” and 10% on “building a mutually collaborative startup ecosystem.” The National Assembly plans to drive subsequent legislative efforts for the activation of ventures and startups, taking into account the discussions and ideas presented in today’s debate, as well as the outcomes of the idea contest. In particular, the National Assembly is actively considering key legislative measures to improve regulations related to new technology business finance companies. This is based on the recognition that, above all, there is a need to move away from the existing policy-focused financial support system and explore legislative and policy alternatives to attract private venture capital into ventures and startups. The National Debate, organized and hosted by the National Assembly Secretariat and National Assembly Futures Institute, was broadcast live on the National Assembly TV and its YouTube channel, and the debate materials are available on the National Assembly Futures Institute website. During the national debate, which is designed by the National Assembly to create an opportunity to lead the national agenda, National Assembly’s Special Committees, National Assembly’s affiliated agencies, and other relevant institutions will jointly study and discuss national pending issues that can shape the future of the Republic of Korea. Following the 6th National Debate, subsequent debates are scheduled to be held on topics such as the local extinction.

2023.07.19

Research Report

(23-02 Series Report) Future response policy: Medium to long-term strategy for Population change and government
P.I : Min Bo-gyeong

Previously unexperienced demographic changes, such as population decline and rapid aging, are presenting new challenges for South Korea. Are we adequately prepared for the future amid these rapid changes? Is the government effectively addressing these issues from a medium to long-term perspective? This study aims to examine the government's medium to long-term strategy related to population changes and derive insights by investigating policies related to elderly health, defense personnel, immigration, and regional policies for population decline. In examining the policies for an aging society and elderly health, the study finds that national-level medium to long-term plans provide fundamental policy directions for establishing a healthy and humane aging society and can be linked to indicators for future society response. Looking into population decline and defense personnel policies, the study observes that the basic defense reform plan can be influenced by changes in administration and the target of maintaining a standby military force size of 500,000 in the mid-term defense plan is practically challenging to achieve. Regarding population decline and immigration policies, a significant portion of the budget is being used for multicultural family support, while policy considerations for foreign laborers and other related aspects have been inadequate. An examination of regional policies for population decline reveals that they primarily focus on economic aspects in responding to population decline, highlighting the need for a more multifaceted strategy. While it is possible to link the government's medium to long-term strategies through a framework of indicators for future society response, it is also necessary to establish a more detailed and multi-dimensional framework for evaluating government policies. From the perspective of long-term future readiness, it is essential to strengthen the government's planning and systematic approach in allocating budgets related to population changes, such as population decline and aging. Furthermore, establishing a mechanism for monitoring the national medium to long-term strategy at the legislative level is required.

2023-12-31
(23-11 Research Report) Futures strategies based on indicators 2023
P.I : Park Seong-won

Dialoguing with citizens regarding the future is the core part of a research project in which researchers forecast the future together with citizens who discuss their preferred future society. The research is meaningful in that the future should not be the exclusive domain of a few experts or the government, but should rather be completed with the participation of various individuals while carefully considering the daily lives of citizens. This year, we met a variety of citizens, including residents of Busan, young politicians, atomic bomb victims, nuclear power plant villagers, multicultural immigrant women, youth in family care, teachers at alternative schools, local graduate school students in the humanities and social sciences, attorneys for juvenile offenders, women defected from North Korea and their children, and sexual minorities. Together, we forecasted several possible futures and discussed which of them we hoped would come to fruition and what necessary policies they would entail. When looking at the future, these people said that they wish there would be more opportunities like this. This study analyzes what kind of future our society should pursue from the perspective of minorities and the weak. These efforts are an essential process to realize a mature society that takes care of minorities and the vulnerable community above all else according to the preferred future presented by the National Assembly Futures Institute for 2021. Researchers prefer the expression ‘emerging citizens’ rather than minorities and the vulnerable community. Minorities and the weak in our society are considered objects of one-sided benefits that society must take care of. However, the researchers believe that the problems they raise are ones that our society must solve for the future. In that respect, they are not beneficiaries but rather innovators in our society. Citizens who participated and cooperated in this year's research testify that we can create a new future together with them. We would like to express our deepest gratitude to the researchers who pursued the study by meeting citizens from various fields, conducted in-depth interviews, and held future outlook workshops. Additionally, we would like to express our deepest gratitude to the local citizens, social activists, experts, and young people who participated in the research. We believe that future alternatives can be found in the activities of these people, and that policies developed together with them will be useful. Dialogue about the future with emerging citizens must continue. We hope that the results of this study can be used as productive data to present and advance an alternative future in our society.

2023-12-31
(23-10 Research Report) Futures strategies based on indicators 2023
P.I : Min Bo-gyeong

To address complex and uncertain social challenges entangled in various stakeholder interests within a volatile policy environment, rational decision-making based on scientific and objective data is required. The National Assembly, as the representative body of the people and the ultimate decision-making institution for national policies, is expanding its role. As such, there is a need to provide data-driven empirical analysis materials from a medium to long-term perspective to support the activities of the National Assembly in examining national policies. This study aims to construct a comprehensive and specific indicator system that can be easily understood and perceived by the public to diagnose and empirically analyze social changes. This will enhance the resilience and preparedness of future society. Specifically, it seeks to assess whether our society is adequately prepared and responsive to demographic mega-trends such as low birth rates, population aging, and changes in population structure, and then to subsequently derive policy implications. Given the world's lowest birth rates, an aging society, and demographic changes, demographic factors have a long-term and wide-ranging impact on society, necessitating strategies for preparation and response. While demographic changes in South Korea may have negative implications for maintaining the current economic and social system, there are also opportunities that can bring about new societal changes. A smart-growth society envisions a prosperous future that develops the economy and society through technological and institutional innovations. In the era of an aging population, digital accessibility and capabilities for the elderly are gradually improving through technology and institutional innovation, but the level of digital information literacy among the elderly remains low, confirming the need for policy support. Looking at indicators for a sustainable and secure society reveals that the utilization rates of childcare facilities and kindergartens are on the rise, and greenhouse gas emissions and the proportion of renewable energy generation have improved compared to the previous year. Examining indicators related to a cooperative society that respects diversity shows that the gender inequality index has decreased internationally. Examination of future society response indicators confirms that the establishment of sub-indicators for youth, the elderly, women, and others is necessary for formulating strategies to address population-related issues such as low birth rates and population aging. Regular management plans for the indicator system for future society, as derived from this study, need to be established. To achieve this, it is necessary to develop a roadmap for setting future vision, deriving core strategies, and identifying key monitoring indicators through a specific process and at specific intervals.

2023-12-31
(23-09 Research Report) Parliamentary Diplomacy on the Korean Peninsula: Agenda and Strategy
P.I : Kim Tae-kyung

This study explores the agenda and implementation strategies of parliamentary diplomacy on the Korean Peninsula in terms of mid- to long-term future strategies on the Korean Peninsula. As part of the ongoing research project Mid- to Long-term International Strategy and Parliamentary Diplomacy, the study focuses on the issues of the Korean Peninsula. The purpose of parliamentary diplomacy on the Korean Peninsula is to establish the National Assembly's status on the issues of the Korean Peninsula which encompass mid- to long-term future horizons. The study outlines a mid- to long-term parliamentary diplomacy agenda based on future strategies pertaining to the Korean Peninsula, the perspective of which will contribute to a bipartisan, minimalist consensus for the National Assembly. In 2022, the results of the National Assembly Future Research Institute's "Mid- to Long-term Future Strategy on the Korean Peninsula: Consociational Governance on the Korean Peninsula" highlighted the easing of political and military tensions and institutionalization of peace as a prerequisite for the establishment of peace on the Korean Peninsula and future integration. They additionally emphasize the importance of establishing governance that encompasses civil society. Considering the link between the preconditions of future strategy on the Korean Peninsula, policy routes, mid- to long-term strategies, and short-term priorities, the study sets two agenda items for parliamentary diplomacy on the Korean Peninsula: 1) arms control in support of mid- to long-term peacebuilding, 2) human rights agenda that is meaningful both as a goal of peacebuilding and as a methodology in conjunction with the peace process. The study reviews analysis of each agenda item’s issues, lessons drawn from cases of the peace process and transitional justice implementation, and the National Assembly's legislative efforts related to each item. The study proposes an integrated approach, or issue-linkage strategy, for arms control and human rights agenda to promote the parliamentary diplomacy agenda. To effectively promote mid- to long-term parliamentary diplomacy on the Korean Peninsula and enhance the National Assembly's status on the Korean Peninsula agenda, establishing an environment for consociational dialogue and negotiations should first be emphasized for domestic and foreign networking. The arms control-human rights agenda linkage strategy is essential in terms of a methodology that creates a consociational environment and is also meaningful as a broad networking strategy that enables bipartisan dialogue.

2023-12-31
(23-09 Research Report) Parliamentary Diplomacy on the Korean Peninsula: Agenda and Strategy
P.I : Kim Tae-kyung

This study explores the agenda and implementation strategies of parliamentary diplomacy on the Korean Peninsula in terms of mid- to long-term future strategies on the Korean Peninsula. As part of the ongoing research project Mid- to Long-term International Strategy and Parliamentary Diplomacy, the study focuses on the issues of the Korean Peninsula. The purpose of parliamentary diplomacy on the Korean Peninsula is to establish the National Assembly's status on the issues of the Korean Peninsula which encompass mid- to long-term future horizons. The study outlines a mid- to long-term parliamentary diplomacy agenda based on future strategies pertaining to the Korean Peninsula, the perspective of which will contribute to a bipartisan, minimalist consensus for the National Assembly. In 2022, the results of the National Assembly Future Research Institute's "Mid- to Long-term Future Strategy on the Korean Peninsula: Consociational Governance on the Korean Peninsula" highlighted the easing of political and military tensions and institutionalization of peace as a prerequisite for the establishment of peace on the Korean Peninsula and future integration. They additionally emphasize the importance of establishing governance that encompasses civil society. Considering the link between the preconditions of future strategy on the Korean Peninsula, policy routes, mid- to long-term strategies, and short-term priorities, the study sets two agenda items for parliamentary diplomacy on the Korean Peninsula: 1) arms control in support of mid- to long-term peacebuilding, 2) human rights agenda that is meaningful both as a goal of peacebuilding and as a methodology in conjunction with the peace process. The study reviews analysis of each agenda item’s issues, lessons drawn from cases of the peace process and transitional justice implementation, and the National Assembly's legislative efforts related to each item. The study proposes an integrated approach, or issue-linkage strategy, for arms control and human rights agenda to promote the parliamentary diplomacy agenda. To effectively promote mid- to long-term parliamentary diplomacy on the Korean Peninsula and enhance the National Assembly's status on the Korean Peninsula agenda, establishing an environment for consociational dialogue and negotiations should first be emphasized for domestic and foreign networking. The arms control-human rights agenda linkage strategy is essential in terms of a methodology that creates a consociational environment and is also meaningful as a broad networking strategy that enables bipartisan dialogue.

2023-12-31
(23-08 Research Report) Parliamentary Diplomacy for Economic Security
P.I : Park Sung-jun

The United States and the European Union are actively engaged in industrial policy and green transition. The U.S. is attempting to reshape the global supply chain, excluding China, in high-tech industries. The EU perceives the green transition as a new growth strategy and has been actively leading the green transition early on. Industrial policy and green transition are not clearly distinguished, and both affect the Korean economy as well as the global economy. The legislation is central to both industrial policy and green transition. As the importance of legislation increases, the need for parliamentary diplomacy heightens. Parliamentary diplomacy, centered around exchanges between legislators, offers the advantage of discussing sensitive topics that may be difficult to address in official diplomatic channels between countries. In this report, we first examine U.S. legislation related to industrial policies, such as the Export Control Reform Act, the CHIPS and Science Act, and the Inflation Reduction Act. Next, we examine legislation related to green transition in both the U.S. and the EU, such as the Inflation Reduction Act, European Climate Act, Critical Raw Materials Act, etc. We explore the legislative process, key content, and ramifications, along with deriving implications for parliamentary diplomacy through the analysis of domestic political factors in the U.S. and the EU.

2023-12-31
(23-07 Research Report) Parliamentary Diplomacy in an Era of Great Power Competition
P.I : Cha Jung-mi

This study analyzes the parliamentary diplomacy of major countries in the world against the backdrop of intensifying rivalry for global dominance, geopolitical instability, as well as multifaceted security challenges in which technology, economics, diplomacy, security, and values are intricately intertwined, while drawing implications for Korean parliamentary diplomacy. In the midst of shifting dynamics in the global order, the world is confronted with significant challenges in reinforcing economic security, boosting competitiveness in technological innovation, as well as in establishing policies and building global partnerships to address key international concerns, such as climate change and the creation of norms for new and evolving technologies. Domestically, South Korea is actively engaged in crafting pivotal legislation, including the Semiconductor Act, it is focusing on building favorable external conditions conducive to its national interests and enhancing cooperation with similarly positioned countries. Current global agendas such as economic security, carbon neutrality, and AI norms, are emerging as central themes in global multilateral discussions, reflecting the dynamic nature of new challenges on the world stage. Globally, parliaments are amplifying their legislative efforts to protect national security and interests amidst these shifts, concurrently broadening their diplomatic outreach to strengthen international communication and collaboration. As the world order undergoes significant transformation, the discourse and demand for effective parliamentary diplomacy are intensifying. This trend is also evident domestically, challenging the conventional notion that diplomacy is predominantly an executive domain. Within the context of the burgeoning discussion around the relevance and necessity of parliamentary diplomacy in Korea, this study was undertaken with two primary research goals. The first objective is to propose a strategic direction and specific tasks for Korean parliamentary diplomacy. To achieve this, we conducted an in-depth analysis of how parliamentary diplomacy is conceptualized and implemented by legislatures in key countries and regions globally. Based on this, we drew insights and implications for the advancement of Korean parliamentary diplomacy, informed by a comparative analysis of international examples of parliamentary diplomacy. The second goal is to suggest how Korean parliamentary diplomacy can effectively engage with major global countries and regions. This study does not aim to provide a theoretical or analytical approach to parliamentary diplomacy, but rather to provide basic informations that can be of practical help to Korea's parliamentary diplomacy. The focus is on providing a substantial informational basis on various models of global parliamentary diplomacy, aimed at enhancing comprehension of major international parliamentary systems. The contents of this study were compiled by nationally recognized experts in the field of parliamentary diplomacy, alongside regional specialists, to augment understanding of the political systems in key countries and regions. This knowledge base is instrumental in providing valuable insights for the effective execution of Korean parliamentary diplomacy, as well as offering recommendations on the directions and challenges of Korean parliamentary diplomacy.

2023-12-31
(23-06 Research Report) Global Innovation Strategy in Circular Economies
P.I : Kim Eun-ah

In response to a global compound crisis, the circular economy model, emphasizing the efficient use of resources, has emerged as a key alternative economic model replacing the traditional linear economy. Resource- deficient nations like South Korea recognize the importance of a circular economy strategy for stable resource supply. The significance also encompasses policies for green transition and the development of new growth engines. However, the current domestic policies on the circular economy are missing a comprehensive global innovation strategy, and they lack medium to long-term investment strategies for technological and industrial development. This study aims to identify vulnerabilities and opportunities by analyzing global policy/initiative trends, the status of technological development, and key drivers of the foreign direct investment. The analysis reveals domestic vulnerabilities such as a) insufficient participation in international standardization discussions, b) fragmented policy governance of standardization institutions, c) lack of specific guidelines and institutional support for sustainable finance and green investment, d) insufficient participation and leadership in global initiatives, e) low influence in global intellectual property networks, f) limited target industries for foreign direct investment, and g) uncertainty in overseas investment strategies. On the other hand, identified opportunities include A) establishing new global leadership by setting ESG investment standards, B) enhancing domestic industries’ export competitiveness through timely responses to international standards, C) expanding overseas networks via active participation in global circular economy initiatives, D) improving national competitiveness through technological development and innovation in the circular economy, and E) exploring opportunities for overseas market expansion and supply chain stabilization through foreign direct investment in advanced technologies. Based on these results, we derived implications for policy intervention and global innovative strategies in the areas of 1) International Standardization and Certification, 2) Technology Development, 3) Foreign Investment, 4) International Cooperation.

2023-12-31
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