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Enhancing social inclusion in rural areas: focus on people in a vulnerable situation and social economy
Horizon Europe - Cluster 6 - Destination 6: Resilient, Inclusive, Healthy and Green Rural, Coastal and Urban Communities
Estimated EU contribution per project
Link to the call
Link to the submission
Projects funded under this topic will contribute to build more inclusive, social resilient and prosperous European rural areas by improving the understanding of social inclusion and social economy challenges in rural areas, by taking stock of existing policies responses, and solutions for the provision of adequate services to the population in a vulnerable situation and for enhancing social economy and entrepreneurship.
Projects will also address these challenges by piloting innovative solutions that foster social economy and improve social inclusion of people in a situation of vulnerability.
Proposals are expected to:
- Identify and analyse the drivers of social exclusion and the challenges to address disparities and marginalisation in various rural areas in Europe, (e.g., remote rural areas, rural areas in the EU's outermost regions (defined in article 349 TFEU), costal and mountain areas, rural areas close to towns and cities);
- Gain a better understanding of the needs of and challenges faced by people in a vulnerable situation in various rural areas of Europe, the possible ways to address economic and demographic challenges, including ageing, disability, and vulnerability of young people where relevant (in particular those not in employment, education or training NEET), and accessibility to adequate services (e.g. considering also universal design), including social ones (e.g. for people with mental or physical disabilities);
- Benchmark policies, services, including social ones, and initiatives developed at various levels to empower people in a vulnerable situation to full and effective participation and inclusion in society, including social economy and entrepreneurship (e.g., social farming, itinerant services and mobility, multishops), pooling of services and creation of meeting places to enhance social interaction (e.g., multidisciplinary health houses, associative cafés), public-private partnerships, and rural-urban linkages. Assess the quality, strengths and weaknesses of these services and to what extent they are used by/reach the target groups;
- Explore the role, potential and limitations of social economy and social enterprises in supporting the population in a vulnerable situation in rural areas, including for the provision of basic and adequate social services;
- Make policy recommendations on how to improve service delivery and other relevant measures in order to meet the needs of people in a vulnerable situation, as well as on how to create and enabling framework for the upscale of social economy in rural areas;
- Accompany pilot innovation actions supporting people in a vulnerable situation and social entrepreneurship to draw additional knowledge from concrete examples.
Proposals should be innovation-oriented and must implement the multi-actor approach, bringing together multiple science fields, in particular the social sciences and humanities (SSH) (e.g., sociology, behavioural sciences, psychology, economics, etc.), and actors with complementary roles and experiences (e.g., representatives of people in a vulnerable situation, service providers, health services, associations, public authorities, universal designers, etc.).
Proposals should cover a representative variety of European rural areas, consider various types of vulnerability (including gender and intersectionality when relevant), and take stock of and experiment a variety of social economy and service provision examples.
Projects should build on existing results, findings and good practices. For instance they could explore activities undertaken by Horizon Europe projects funded under the topics HORIZON-CL2-2022-TRANSFORMATIONS-01-02 and HORIZON-CL2-2021-TRANSFORMATIONS-01-03.
Finally, projects funded under this topic should coordinate activities between them to avoid overlaps and benefit from synergies. Proposals should allocate appropriate budget and resources to implement this task.
Expected effects and impacts
The successful proposals will contribute to fostering a sustainable, balanced, equitable and inclusive development of rural areas, supporting the implementation of the following Commission’s priorities: the European Green Deal, in particular its fair and just transition component; an economy that works for people as well as to the European pillar of social rights, the EU social economy action plan; and a new push for European democracy, notably to the long-term vision for the EU’s rural areas objectives (in particular contributing to rural areas’ resilience), and the strategy for the rights of persons with disabilities 2021-2030.
- Improved understanding of policy makers at different levels (European, national, regional and local) and citizens regarding the challenges to address disparities and marginalisation in rural areas, the various needs of people in a vulnerable situation, and how to enhance social inclusion, social resilience and well-being;
- Improved policies and governance frameworks for social inclusion and social economy in rural areas;
- Increased economic opportunities and development of social entrepreneurship in rural areas;
- Improved social integration and access to adequate services for people in a vulnerable situation in rural areas and to rural dwellers more in general.
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.
other eligibility criteria
Proposals must apply the multi-actor approach. See definition of the multi-actor approach on pages 21-23 of the work programme.
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.