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Call key data
Intersectionality and equality in deliberative and participatory democratic spaces
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
There has been a recent push to overcome the limits of representative democracy and reinvigorate democratic participation through participatory and deliberative democratic innovations at local, regional, national and European level. Such processes have aimed to bring power and decision-making closer to citizens, and have contributed to reimagining the meaning of democracy and to further fostering the involvement of citizens in democratic life.
Nevertheless, difficulties remain as regards the meaningful involvement of minorities and marginalised communities. Despite the implementation of quotas and processes to ensure parity in such democratic spaces, ensuring equality has been proved to be a challenge. In many cases, when the principle of parity has been achieved, there has been a difficulty to ensure meaningful engagement and safe and equal spaces for all. And while many efforts are focused on better including under-represented groups into such spaces, less actions are targeted at making majority populations and non-marginalised communities more understanding and tolerant towards so-called, perceived 'Others'. Proposals should contribute to reinvigorating democracy and enhancing citizen participation by designing, envisioning and piloting processes of democratic innovation where overcoming the accumulation and intersection of discrimination or stigmatisation is a core part of the process.
For this, proposals should offer both conceptual and practical insights into designing, implementing and evaluating more inclusive participatory processes. Thus, research should help to identify the limitations of participatory exercises, and draw power analysis that provide insights into the systemic exclusion and reproduction of inequalities in certain democratic spaces. This could also include behavioural insights to enhance participation of marginalised groups and the deconstruction of biases or unwelcoming practices by majority groups and privileged communities. Furthermore, they should contribute to innovation through the piloting and testing of alternative models of participatory democratic practices and mini publics that allow for meaningful engagement between marginalised or vulnerable communities and mainstream communities (counter/alternative publics, community deliberation, intercultural dialogues, multilevel deliberations, theatre and artistic interventions, etc.). This should take into account the challenges marginalised communities face in different geographic locations, such as rural and urban areas. Proposals may consider the role of digital technologies in such innovative designs.
Proposals may draw on the results of deliberative / participatory democracy related EU projects, in particular under Horizon 2020. Clustering and cooperation with other selected projects under this topic and other relevant projects are strongly encouraged.
Proposals are encouraged to collaborate with the JRC Competence Centre on Participatory and Deliberative Democracy, particularly with respect to the design and evaluation of innovative and inclusive participatory processes, including concepts, frameworks and implementation thereof as part of alternative models of participatory democratic practices.
- Develop a thorough theoretical understanding of deliberative and participatory democratic practices through an intersectional lens that engages with structures of power, and identify limitations and opportunities for improvement of such spaces.
- Enhance the design, implementation and evaluation of deliberative and participatory processes at different levels of government (local, regional, national, European), with a focus on marginalised and vulnerable communities, by including an intersectional approach that allows accounting for power relations at all processes of design.
- Develop and pilot innovative designs for citizen engagement that consider intersectionality and allow for other types of participation and deliberation, and enhancing democracy, by addressing political inequality in such participatory spaces.
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
The Joint Research Centre (JRC) may participate as member of the consortium selected for funding.
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.