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Call key data
Remote working arrangements and their economic, social and spatial effects
Horizon Europe - Cluster 2 - Destination 3: Innovative research on social and economic transformations
Estimated EU contribution per project
between € 2,000,000.00 and € 3,000,000.00
Link to the call
Link to the submission
Remote working arrangements have considerably increased during the COVID-19 pandemic, giving a new perspective to a long ongoing debate on a solution which before was primarily an opportunity to improve employees’ work-life balance.
This phenomenon has the potential to decentralise jobs away from metropolitan areas creating opportunities for both urban and rural areas, including for the less favoured regions. For urban areas, it has, on one hand, the potential to alleviate housing prices and air quality. On the other hand, it can, at the same, change the urban landscape, notably regarding the occupation of buildings and their usage in areas where enterprises may switch completely to remote work arrangements. For rural areas, it can create more dynamism and attract necessary investments, including for essential services such as health care and transport. Moreover, rural areas tend to concentrate key sectors for the green transition, such as agriculture and clean energy production, for which attracting skilled, remote workers could affect particular challenges faced by rural areas, such as an ageing population and skills shortage. Simultaneously, increased attractiveness can also have a negative impact for the local community, for instance due to housing price increase and create pressure over existing infrastructure, as well as accelerate agricultural land take.
Not all workers can enjoy the benefits of working from home: it is estimated that only approximately 37% of EU-27 workers are in occupations that can be carried out from home. This could aggravate existing spatial segregation and inequalities. Moreover, remote work can significantly change working conditions and affect the health and safety of workers. In addition, employees whose workplace is in a different country than the place of employment may face complications regarding social security and taxation. Finally, the interlinkages of remote working with care duties can deteriorate the work-life-balance and possibly accentuate existing gender gaps.
Research should investigate how remote working arrangements can affect different spaces, focusing on the urban and rural divide and its impacts on the local communities, including on ethical and social aspects, employment, as well as on administration and infrastructures.
It should further research how remote working arrangements impact working conditions, notably health and safety of workers, the skills divide, working time, work-life balance and broader social impacts, including family and care arrangements, as well as mental health and loneliness.
Research activities should also evaluate the consequences of remote working on already existing inequalities, including gender inequality. They should forecast the development of the remote working trend and should identify populations benefitting and populations who run the risk of losing out.
As remote working is a phenomenon affecting societies on all levels, an outlook and policy recommendations should target policymakers on EU level as well as Member States’, Associated Countries’ and regional/local authorities.
Clustering and cooperation with other selected projects under this call and other relevant projects are strongly encouraged. Finally, the topic should contribute to the EU Rural Vision.
- Better understanding of the spatial implications of increased remote working and its challenges for different regions, including urban and rural areas.
- Increased understanding on the impact of remote working arrangements on the living and working conditions, including health and safety at work, work-life balance and consequences of cross-border working.
- Better understanding of the possible consequences to communal life and society.
- Recommendations to help urban and rural areas to shape the trends of remote working cope with the challenges and seize the opportunities.
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.