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Call key data
The interrelation between social, cultural and political identities, as well as the sense of belonging, and democracies
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 help further investigate the way that democracy and its key tenets such as political representation, participation or trust are interrelated to social, cultural, and political identities and a sense of belonging and identification with different communities.
The role of identities and the sense of belonging in democracies is of uttermost importance, where both have been key to define and understand political participation in democratic societies. In the past few years, Europe has arguably experienced an increased fragmentation of identities, given rapid generational, demographic, social, religious and political changes. Simultaneously, the pandemic has highlighted the importance of communities in times of uncertainty. This has opened up questions about the negative impact that such fragmenting trends might have on democratic life, as well as the barriers that certain groups face to be actively and meaningfully engaged in democratic participation, among these youths, migrants, and LGBTIQ+ collectives.
Conversely, it can be argued that the involvement of certain communities in democratic processes of decision-making (through quotas, but also through other participatory processes at different levels such as participants sortition) can contribute to further foster the sense of belonging to a democratic society, and further increase their participation in democratic life.
In this context, proposals should help further investigate the way that democracy and its key tenets such as political representation, participation or trust are interrelated to social, cultural, and political identities and a sense of belonging and identification with different communities. This includes gender, ethnic, multicultural, multilingual and spatial identities and subjectivities, amongst others, taking into account the cumulative effects of discrimination. To better understand social identities and their role in shaping political and social discourse, proposals could consider the condition of migration and refugees, segregation as well as inclusion; the notion of European identity and heritage; people with disabilities; perception of belonging to urban/rural communities, to local communities or to diasporas; the role of media and social media in identity fragmentation, mixtures of ethnic, political and religious identities; the role of the cultural and artistic sectors in representing the diversity of identities (cinema, film series, literature, etc.).
Proposals should identify and explore barriers and factors that limit or impact the engagement of certain communities in democratic practices and processes, and erode their political participation, representation or trust in democratic institutions. Moreover, they should consider and propose policies, frameworks and recommendations to prevent and revert such negative trends, as well as ways to further foster the sense of belonging to democratic societies. This could include the piloting of participatory processes or civic engagement activities targeted at identifying and discussing the issues underpinning the sense of democratic belonging in said communities. Identities do not happen in a vacuum. People are attached to groups that grant them an identity that has currency in the social domain: being identified as a member of a certain group grants social capital. They belong to groups they value and that cater to their social and psychological needs. Proposals should therefore also develop critical insights into the ways in which processes of social, cultural and political participation can contribute to further fostering the sense of belonging/ownership to local, national and European democratic institutions and processes.
Finally, proposals may also study social representations and intergroup stereotypes, which determine to which groups individuals choose to belong. The benefits of group membership and identification, including the social capital that comes with group projects as an inherent part of social representations, may also be analysed. In that regard, the role of identification and belonging in the diffusion of antagonistic identities or social norms online and offline should be studied.
It is important that proposals integrate an intersectional, historical, fluid and multiple approach towards identities, as well as consider the varying concepts and experiences of “belonging” and “identification”, as well as the possibility to develop several feelings of belonging to different communities simultaneously.
Proposals should also utilise participatory methods for research, involving academic and non-academic actors, with a focus on community empowerment. They might utilise methodologies that build on disciplines such as political and social psychology, behavioural politics, history, sociology, gender and race theories, religious studies, post-colonial studies, etc.
Clustering and cooperation with other selected projects under this topic and other relevant projects are strongly encouraged. Proposals may consider social innovation activities to stimulate social change, new social practices, social ownership or market uptake.
Proposals are encouraged to collaborate with the JRC Competence Centre on Participatory and Deliberative Democracy, in particular with respect to the design and utilisation of participatory methodologies and how they consider, shape or transform individual and group identities. Proposals are also encouraged to collaborate with the JRC unit working on the Enlightenment 2.0 research programme, particularly with respect to the influence of identities in evidence uptake, political decision-making and effective remedies that can benefit collective decision-making.
Projects should contribute to all of the following expected outcomes:
- Provide a comprehensive analysis of the interrelations between social, cultural and political identities, the sense of belonging and identification with a group, and democracy, including in matters of political representation, participation and trust. This includes considering the intersecting, fluid and fragmented dimension of identities and their relation to the need to belong as well as values.
- Build on findings to formulate policy recommendations to address, prevent and correct negative trends, including piloting of strategies and frameworks to prevent discrimination, marginalisation and alienation. Insights on how to contribute to encompassing identities with concrete policy recommendations are highly encouraged.
- Develop critical insights into the ways in which processes of social, cultural and political participation can contribute to further fostering the sense of belonging/ownership to local, national and European democratic institutions and processes, or the diffusion of antagonistic identities or social norms.
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.