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Call: Strengthening Europe's position in the global context: science diplomacy and intercultural relations

Type of Fund Action programme
Description of programme
"Horizon 2020 - Societal Challenges "
A challenge-based approach will bring together resources and knowledge across different fields, technologies and disciplines, including social sciences and the humanities. This will cover activities from research to market with a new focus on innovation-related activities, such as piloting, demonstration, test-beds, and support for public procurement and market uptake.
Funding focuses on the following challenges:
  • Health, demographic change and wellbeing;
  • Food security, sustainable agriculture and forestry, marine and maritime and inland water research, and the Bioeconomy;
  • Secure, clean and efficient energy;
  • Smart, green and integrated transport;
  • Climate action, environment, resource efficiency and raw materials;
  • Europe in a changing world - inclusive, innovative and reflective societies;
  • Secure societies - protecting freedom and security of Europe and its citizens.
Link Link to Programme
Description of programme
"Europe in a changing world - Inclusive, innovative and reflective societies"

This subprogramme will address social exclusion, discriminations and various forms of inequalities. It will explore new forms of innovation and strengthen the evidence base for the Innovation Union, the European Research Area and other relevant EU policies. It will promote coherent and effective cooperation with third countries. Finally, it will address the issues of memories, identities, tolerance and cultural heritage. The approach adopted in the present calls is in line with the Horizon 2020 Responsible Research and Innovation (RRI) cross-cutting issue, engaging multiple actors including society, integrating the gender and ethical dimensions, ensuring the access to research outcomes. Some Topics deal specifically with formal and informal (science) education.

Strengthening Europe's position in the global context: science diplomacy and intercultural relations
Description of call
"Strengthening Europe's position in the global context: science diplomacy and intercultural relations"

Europe is faced with numerous challenges that are increasingly global in nature and that have become of more immediate importance: peace and stability, migration, climate change, resource efficiency, health pandemics, etc. In many cases, responding to these challenges requires science-based evidence to inform decisions and joint international efforts that often include also scientific and technological cooperation. This is where science and diplomacy can join forces to form a 'soft power' tool in external policy – science diplomacy.


A main challenge is how to best link scientific expertise and cooperation with diplomacy and political influence to tackle major global challenges, promote knowledge and improve international relations. Science diplomacy has a particular added value in providing additional communication channels, particularly in stalemate situations and relations where few other mechanisms are feasible as well as on sensitive bilateral and multilateral issues. It promotes cooperation and conflict prevention, rebuilds trust and fosters shared understanding across countries, regions and cultures.


Addressing this challenge requires a great dose of (self) reflexivity about European diplomacy, Europe's own history and its interactions with third countries, regions, cultures and religions. It calls for a continued investment in fostering scientific, political, economic, social and cultural relations with other non-European global actors on all continents, and for ways in which to sustain scientific and intercultural exchanges that effectively enhance mutual understanding despite differences.


The research to address this challenge should in particular focus on the following key dimensions:


  • Using science in the context of European diplomacy
  • European culture, values and reflections of Europe's colonial past in contemporary European societies
  • Global trends of secularisation and religious radicalisation and the role of Europe


At least 1 proposal per topic will be selected for funding provided it passes all evaluation thresholds

Link Link to Call
Thematic Focus Research & Innovation, Technology Transfer & Exchange, Capacity Building, Cooperation Networks, Institutional Cooperation, Art & Culture, Cultural Heritage, History, Media
Funding area EU Member States
Candidate Countries
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Iceland / Ísland
Norway / Norge
Switzerland / Schweiz / Suisse / Svizzera
Ukraine / Україна Oukraïna
Origin of Applicant EU Member States

Albania / Shqipëria
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Iceland / Ísland
Montenegro / Crna Gora/Црна Гора
North Macedonia / Северна Македонија
Norway / Norge
Serbia / Сpбија
Switzerland / Schweiz / Suisse / Svizzera
Turkey / Türkiye
Ukraine / Україна Oukraïna
Eligible applicants Education and Training Centres, Research Institution, Small and Medium Sized Enterprises, SMEs (between 10 and 249 employees), NGO / NPO, Start Up Company, University, Enterprise (more than 250 employees or not defined), Association
Project Partner Yes
Project Partner Details

At least three legal entities. Each of the three must be established in a different EU Member State or Horizon 2020 associated country. All three legal entities must be independent of each other.

Recurring Call No
Type of Funding Grants
Financial details

The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU in the order of 2.5 million € for each dimension would allow this specific challenge to be addressed appropriately. This does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts.

EU funding rate: 100%.


Electronic submission here

Contact Details Link to the National Contact Point Finder.

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