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Call key data
Multilevel governance in times of digital and climate transitions
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
Proposals should analyse how different levels of government in the EU work in developing and implementing policy on the digital and climate transitions. Questions of responsiveness and legitimacy might also be considered. Proposals should also analyse the development of community-based innovations in the field of democratic governance and processes, notably at the level of cities and regions, and evaluation of their implications for social development, cohesion and inclusion.
The threat of climate change will require changes in the ways in which we organise our societies, action at all levels of government, and coordination between these levels so that actions are taken at the most appropriate one and complement each other effectively. Optimising complementarity will also be important to face the challenge of staff shortage to tackle the climate transition.
The digital transition is also at the heart of the question of multi-level governance of major transitions: for instance, the COVID-19 pandemic has changed practices, and shown that further paths can be followed in order for digitalisation to be moulded to benefit the climate, and society.
The EU Green Deal and digital strategy, and their national and local implementation strategies, are the policy roadmaps to be examined under this topic.
Proposals should analyse how different levels of government in the EU work in developing and implementing policy on the digital and climate transitions. Where is collaboration and collective agenda-setting most effective, in order for climate and digital roadmap goals to be met? How does the division of policy ownership in multi-level governance systems impact the effectiveness of policymaking in these two policy areas: where are the gaps, and where are the duplications? Questions of responsiveness and legitimacy might also be considered.
Proposals should also analyse the development of community-based innovations in the field of democratic governance and processes, notably at the level of cities and regions, and evaluation of their implications for social development, cohesion and inclusion.
Given the very particular situation of border regions, proposals could analyse innovative legal instruments, organisational set-ups, cross-border democratic processes that strengthen cross-border cooperation and ultimately the resilience of cross-border territories.
As the innovation part of this action, proposals should experiment with community-led innovations in one or both policy areas, such as through deliberative processes, or engaging social innovation partners and citizens representatives.
Based on this analysis, proposals should suggest pathways for better-informed decision-making at national and EU levels based on the identification of where the tensions the opportunities are in top-down and bottom-up policymaking, and policy implementation.
Proposals should form partnerships with government authorities at the relevant levels, in order for their policy recommendations on improvements and alternative pathways for the national and local implementation of EU law to be more likely to be endorsed by the targeted public administrations.
Proposals are encouraged to collaborate with the JRC Competence Centre on Participatory and Deliberative Democracy, which provides expertise in particular with respect to experimentation with community-led innovations through deliberative and other participatory processes and approaches.
Projects should contribute to all of the following expected outcomes:
- Encourage international cooperation through better understanding of the articulation between local, regional, international and transnational governance.
- Encourage the development and implementation of policy in two areas of transnational and multi-level importance: the digital and climate transitions, also taking into account how does the division of policy ownership in multi-level governance systems impact the effectiveness of policymaking in these two policy areas.
- Lead to better-informed decision-making and policy implementation at national and EU levels, based on the identification of where the tensions and the opportunities are in top-down and bottom-up policymaking. The development of community-based innovations in the field of democratic governance and processes, notably at the level of cities and regions, and evaluation of their implications for social development, cohesion and inclusion.
- Provide policy recommendations on improvements and alternative pathways for the national and local implementation of EU law that are endorsed by the targeted public administrations, including through experimentation in deliberative processes.
Regions / countries for funding
Moldova (Moldova), Albania (Shqipëria), Armenia (Հայաստան), Azerbaijan (Azərbaycan), Belarus (Беларусь), 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), New Zealand (Aotearoa), North Macedonia (Северна Македонија), Norway (Norge), Serbia (Srbija/Сpбија), Tunisia (تونس /Tūnis), Türkiye, Ukraine (Україна), United Kingdom
Education and training institution, International organization, 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
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.