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Call key data
The role and functioning of public administrations in democratic systems
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
Projects should investigate how European Union governments are approaching public administration and governance reform i.e. what areas they strategically invest in, what challenges they encounter, what support they capitalise on, and how they generally approach transforming their government administrations as they face the challenges of today.
Governments are excessively under pressure today to adapt and respond to rapidly changing global economic, social, political, ecological and technological trends, to develop better public policy outcomes and high-quality public services that respond to the needs of their citizens, and to transform their internal operations on the go, creating modern and innovative public administrations. This area of research intends to investigate how European Union governments are approaching public administration and governance reform i.e. what areas they strategically invest in, what challenges they encounter, what (national, European or international) support (expertise, finance) they capitalise on, and how they generally approach transforming their government administrations (through e.g. systems approaches, open government approaches, innovation portfolio approach, organisational framework conditions enabling innovation, etc.) as they face the challenges of today.
The true measure of the successful practice of public service lies in the ability of government administrations to remain faithful to the tenets of democratic society (e.g. respect for human dignity, freedom, democracy, equality, the rule of law, human rights, including the rights of persons belonging to minorities). Therefore, particular attention should be paid to the role and functioning of public institutions in democratic systems, their role in fostering democratic, economic and social stability, and in reforming public management and institutions in ways that enhance citizens’ trust in government and active participation in public affairs [e.g. engagement with citizens, open and transparent public decision- and policymaking, e-democracy, participatory and deliberative democracy, experimentation, working with innovation ecosystems (Quadruple and Quintuple Helix models), etc.], including emerging visions and narratives for public management and institutions.
To this effect, beyond the available literature review and internationally comparable data (e.g. World Economic Forum, United Nations, World Bank, European institutions, etc.), this research will need to involve intensive engagement with national government officials orchestrating and engaged in internal innovation processes, large-scale data collection and analysis, and drawing up illustrative cases from European Union Member States and OECD governments actively working towards improving democratic governance and innovation in government administrations.
Proposals are also encouraged to collaborate with the JRC unit working on strengthening and connecting science-for-policy ecosystems across the EU, particularly with respect to projects interested in building the analytical foundations for reforms in public administration and in the science, technology and innovation system to improve evidence-informed policymaking processes, the use of expertise in policymaking, the establishment of boundary organisations and competence-building of knowledge brokers, and the public deliberation between science, policymaking, and society at large.
Projects should contribute to all of the following expected outcomes:
- Better understanding of the changing concept and practices of public administrations and approaches to public management, emerging trends and paradigm shifts, and the role public institutions and public management play in in fostering democratic, economic and social stability.
- Mapping emerging innovative solutions in public management and institutional framework conditions (e.g. human resource management policies, leadership, new ways of working, changing public decision- and policymaking, etc.) that enable innovation in public administrations and deepen democratic governance.
- Recommendations for European Union Member States on key focus areas and (from local to EU level) actions as regards public administration modernisation and reform agendas, and whole-government innovation strategies for effective, innovative, future-capable and citizen-centric government administrations in Europe.
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.