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Call key data
The climate imperative and its impact on democratic governance
Horizon Europe - Cluster 2 - Destination 1: Innovative research on democracy and governance
Estimated EU contribution per project
between € 2,000,000.00 and € 3,000,000.00
Link to the call
Link to the submission
Climate movements have highlighted the question of whether urgent climate goals can be met while respecting democratic processes, maintaining trust, legitimacy and efficiency of democratic institutions. A large segment of society, on the other hand, perceives the changes on their personal lifestyle needed to mitigate or adapt to climate change as too burdensome, or focuses on other priorities, e.g. policy imperatives linked to financial or security issues. Policies adopted under the climate transition will not be pain-free, increasing the difficulty for democratic governments seeking re-election to legislate effectively to meet the demands of the climate crisis. Social inequalities increase the risk that the less advantaged segments of society will be more negatively impacted by the climate crisis and policies made for the climate transition. The common global goals for the climate transition also highlight the deficiencies of governance on supranational issues.
At the same time, the climate imperative also opens up avenues for innovative civic participation in an existential policy area.
Thus, proposals under this topic should help reinvigorate democratic governance by suggesting pathways for improved effectiveness of rule-of-law based institutions and policies, notably pathways for open government practices that enable active civic participation throughout the policymaking process. They should help strengthen social and economic resilience and sustainability through a better understanding of the relationship between democratic governance and the climate imperative.
Proposals should use the lessons of history as well as analysis of the current situation and best practices to make policy recommendations for the future. In the light of existing tensions between democratic governance and climate imperatives, proposals should examine how societies have dealt with bottom-up participation in the past, whether more inclusive and politically democratic societies are better able to develop prevention and mitigation policies, and what new structures we need to tackle the climate imperative, to effectively address its complexity, urgency, and long-term impacts. Proposals are encouraged to consider social innovation activities to stimulate social change, new social practices, social ownership or market uptake. Gender and intersectional aspects (e.g. ethnicity, socioeconomic background) should be considered, particularly regarding citizen engagement, civic participation, and climate literacy.
Proposals should seek synergies and complementarity with other clusters, partnerships and missions of the Horizon Europe Programme, notably the Clean Energy Transition Partnerships, as well as with other EU programmes and financing instruments to maximise its impact in the long term. Proposals within this call can be the needed link to get the project outcomes out of partnerships to the policymakers who can directly implement them for maximum effective results. Clustering and cooperation with other selected projects under this topic and other relevant projects are strongly encouraged.
- Enhance the ability of democratic governance to address complex and long-term challenges, through better understanding of the socio-political dimension of the climate crisis (including climate movements) and its impact on democratic governance, participation and social cohesion; the impact of the green transition on public governance and democratic practices, their legitimacy and responsiveness; and the increasing role of non-majoritarian institutions in decision-making.
- Enhance the capacity of democratic governance to mobilise and engage citizens through participation, and better-informed decision-making and communication to citizens on climate related policies, based on learnings from the management of the COVID-19 pandemic, disaster and end-time scenarios analysis, and other historic examples for such political and societal imperatives.
- Improve policymaking approaches at all levels of government through recommendations to address the climate imperative in a democratic manner supported by citizens, balancing it with other policy imperatives, including the role of education in fostering climate literacy.
- Encourage international cooperation through better understanding of the supranational challenges of the climate crisis, and of the consequences of climate crisis scenarios on demand for democratic structures, international politics and citizen engagement.
Regions / countries for funding
Moldova (Moldova), Albania (Shqipëria), Armenia (Հայաստան), Bosnia and Herzegovina (Bosna i Hercegovina / Босна и Херцеговина), Faeroes (Føroyar / Færøerne), Georgia (საქართველო), Island (Ísland), Israel (ישראל / إِسْرَائِيل), Kosovo (Kosova/Kosovë / Косово), Montenegro (Црна Гора), Morocco (المغرب), North Macedonia (Северна Македонија), Norway (Norge), Serbia (Srbija/Сpбија), Tunisia (تونس /Tūnis), Türkiye, Ukraine (Україна), United Kingdom
EU Body, Education and training institution, International organization, Natural Person, Non-Profit Organisation (NPO) / Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO), Other, Private institution, incl. private company (private for profit), Public Body (national, regional and local; incl. EGTCs), Research Institution incl. University, Small and medium-sized enterprise (SME)
To be eligible for funding, applicants must be established in one of the following countries:
- the Member States of the European Union, including their outermost regions
- the Overseas Countries and Territories (OCTs) linked to the Member States
- third countries associated to Horizon Europe - see list of particpating countries
Only legal entities forming a consortium are eligible to participate in actions provided that the consortium includes, as beneficiaries, three legal entities independent from each other and each established in a different country as follows:
- at least one independent legal entity established in a Member State; and
- at least two other independent legal entities, each established in different Member States or Associated Countries.
Any legal entity, regardless of its place of establishment, including legal entities from non-associated third countries or international organisations (including international European research organisations) is eligible to participate (whether it is eligible for funding or not), provided that the conditions laid down in the Horizon Europe Regulation have been met, along with any other conditions laid down in the specific call topic.
A ‘legal entity’ means any natural or legal person created and recognised as such under national law, EU law or international law, which has legal personality and which may, acting in its own name, exercise rights and be subject to obligations, or an entity without legal personality.
- Affiliated entities — Affiliated entities (i.e. entities with a legal or capital link to a beneficiary which participate in the action with similar rights and obligations to the beneficiaries, but which do not sign the grant agreement and therefore do not become beneficiaries themselves) are allowed, if they are eligible for participation and funding.
- Associated partners — Associated partners (i.e. entities which participate in the action without signing the grant agreement, and without the right to charge costs or claim contributions) are allowed, subject to any conditions regarding associated partners set out in the specific call conditions.
- Entities without legal personality — Entities which do not have legal personality under their national law may exceptionally participate, provided that their representatives have the capacity to undertake legal obligations on their behalf, and offer guarantees to protect the EU’s financial interests equivalent to those offered by legal persons.
- EU bodies — Legal entities created under EU law including decentralised agencies may be part of the consortium, unless provided for otherwise in their basic act.
- Joint Research Centre (‘JRC’)— Where provided for in the specific call conditions, applicants may include in their proposals the possible contribution of the JRC but the JRC will not participate in the preparation and submission of the proposal. Applicants will indicate the contribution that the JRC could bring to the project based on the scope of the topic text. After the evaluation process, the JRC and the consortium selected for funding may come to an agreement on the specific terms of the participation of the JRC. If an agreement is found, the JRC may accede to the grant agreement as beneficiary requesting zero funding or participate as an associated partner, and would accede to the consortium as a member.
- Associations and interest groupings — Entities composed of members (e.g. European research infrastructure consortia (ERICs)) may participate as ‘sole beneficiaries’ or ‘beneficiaries without legal personality’. However, if the action is in practice implemented by the individual members, those members should also participate (either as beneficiaries or as affiliated entities, otherwise their costs will NOT be eligible
Relevance for EU Macro-Region
EUSAIR - EU Strategy for the Adriatic and Ionian Region, EUSALP - EU Strategy for the Alpine Space, EUSBSR - EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region, EUSDR - EU Strategy for the Danube Region
UN Sustainable Development Goals (UN-SDGs)
All proposals must be submitted electronically via the Funders & Tenders Portal electronic submission system (accessible via the topic page in the Search Funding & Tenders section). Paper submissions are NOT possible.
Proposals must be complete and contain all parts and mandatory annexes and supporting documents, e.g. plan for the exploitation and dissemination of the results including communication activities, etc.
The application form will have two parts:
- Part A (to be filled in directly online) contains administrative information about the applicant organisations (future coordinator and beneficiaries and affiliated entities), the summarised budget for the proposal and call-specific questions;
- Part B (to be downloaded from the Portal submission system, completed and then assembled and re-uploaded as a PDF in the system) contains the technical description of the project.
Annexes and supporting documents will be directly available in the submission system and must be uploaded as PDF files (or other formats allowed by the system).
The limit for a full application (Part B) is 45 pages.