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Call: Education for democracy

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Programme
Acronym HE-CL2-DEMOCRACY
Type of Fund Direct Management
Description of programme
"Horizon Europe - Cluster 2 - Destination 1: Innovative research on democracy and governance"

Democracies are more fragile and more vulnerable than in the past. The Freedom in the World Report (2020) shows that democracies across the globe are in crisis[[https://freedomhouse.org/report/freedom-world/2020/leaderless-struggle-democracy]]. At the same time, various European surveys show declining levels of trust in the political institutions of democracy.[[W. Merkel, Past, Present and Future of Democracy - Policy Review, 2019: https://op.europa.eu/en/publication-detail/-/publication/4bebf83d-60ba-11e9-b6eb-01aa75ed71a1/language-en/format-PDF/source-94807842]] In terms of legitimacy, there are signs of a potential shift from governance based on expertise, multilateralism and consensual policymaking towards majoritarianism, unilateralism, nationalism, populism and polarization. Research on the past and present challenges and tensions in democracy can help to better understand and strengthen democracy, its resilience and stability. It will foster democracy’s further development with a view to enhancing representation, participation, openness, pluralism, tolerance, the effectiveness of public policy, non-discrimination, civic engagement, the protection of fundamental rights and the rule of law. These reflect the European Union’s values as defined in Article 2 of the EU Treaty[[Consolidated version of the Treaty on European Union, Title 1 “Common Provisions”, Article 2: “The Union is founded on the values of respect for human dignity, freedom, democracy, equality, the rule of law and respect for human rights, including the rights of persons belonging to minorities. These values are common to the Member States in a society in which pluralism, non-discrimination, tolerance, justice, solidarity and equality between women and men prevail”.]].

Expected impact:

Proposals for topics under this Destination should set out a credible pathway to contributing to the following expected impacts of the Horizon Europe Strategic Plan:

  • Democratic governance is reinvigorated by improving the accountability, transparency, effectiveness and trustworthiness of rule-of-law based institutions and policies and through the expansion of active and inclusive citizenship empowered by the safeguarding of fundamental rights.

The implementation of the research activities of the destination will assist in the re-invigoration and modernisation of democratic governance. The aim is to develop evidence-based innovations, policies and policy recommendations, as well as institutional frameworks that expand political participation, social dialogue, civic engagement, gender equality and inclusiveness. Activities will also contribute to enhancing the transparency, effectiveness, accountability and legitimacy of public policy-making. They will help improving trust in democratic institutions, safeguarding liberties and the rule of law and protecting democracy from multidimensional threats. Rich historical, cultural and philosophical perspectives, including a comparative dimension, will set the frame for soundly understanding present developments and help to map future pathways. In the medium to long term, the knowledge, data, scientifically robust recommendations and innovations generated will enhance decision making on all aspects relevant to democratic governance. As the Destination aims directly at citizen engagement and at producing lasting change, it is of particular importance that the research and innovation actions promote the highest standards of transparency and openness. When applicable, it is encouraged to open up the process, criteria, methodologies and data to civil society in the course of the research.

Link Link to Programme
Call
Education for democracy
Description of call
"Education for democracy"

Expected Outcome

Projects should contribute to all of the following expected outcomes:

  • Build robust evidence base for redesigning curricula in support of democracy, with an emphasis on students’ active participation and engagement in this process.
  • Toolkits for enhancing the humanistic and civic aspects of education with a view to promoting active democratic citizenship and empowerment, including through experimental approaches.
  • Strengthened democratic processes in education through the involvement of citizens in defining educational contents, learning environments and goals.

Scope

Education, from early childhood to lifelong learning, plays an important role in bolstering democratic citizenship and strengthening the resilience of democratic societies. It can play an essential role in the promotion of core values like human rights and the rule of law, as well as in the prevention of human rights violations. It can also help promote gender equality, disability inclusiveness, a culture of peace and non-violence, environmental awareness, appreciation of linguistic, ethnic, cultural and religious diversity. Education can contribute to tackle radicalisation and successfully integrate migrants and refugees.

Research shows that voters with more extreme attitudes are overrepresented among citizens with low formal education and a below-average household income. Populist discourses and extremist groups find more support among citizens who benefit less from cultural modernisation, economic liberalisation and internationalisation.

Involvement of citizens and young people, including through NGOs, social partners and grassroots organisations, and cooperation with cultural and creative sectors are strongly encouraged to ensure the achievement of expected outcomes.

Proposals are expected to show how educational material and innovative pedagogical practices in different settings (including lifelong learning), can mediate or inform current debates about European identity, as well as key issues such as sustainable development, migration, tolerance and understanding of ethnocultural and linguistic diversity, international solidarity and global citizenship, inequality, disability, hate speech, polarisation and extremisms, ethnicity/race, religion and gender, etc. They should examine how education can be mobilised in terms of producing informed historical and cultural consciousness by contributing to cultural and textual literacy, critical and analytic historical learning, responsible historical consciousness and critical thinking of the future citizens of democratic societies. Research should highlight the competences needed by students for boosting their capacity to actively engage in democratic politics, to understand and reflect on global interconnections, unequal power relations, depletion of natural resources and climate change, and to contribute to the promotion of sustainable development, inclusion, anti-racism, equality, justice and peace. Corresponding methods to guide teaching and assessment of those competences should be investigated, gathered and analysed. Research should propose avenues for updating and developing novel curricula and learning environment. It should also propose ways to support teaching staff, with a view to bolstering democratic values, critical thinking skills and positive social engagement in a holistic way. Provide comprehensive evidence from European countries on the links between economic, social, cultural capital and educational inequalities and levels of political engagement, social trust, participation and inter-cultural tolerance. Experimental participatory research to test educational and training tools and to demonstrate the impact of the tools proposed, including students’ and teachers’ feedback, should be included. In particular, proposals should examine new (including blended) education and training formats that incorporate creative approaches such as gamification, design of virtual classrooms and virtual co-working spaces, and other cultural expressions like literacy interpretation, creative writing or theatre, in order to reach target groups in an effective and innovative way.

Link Link to Call
Thematic Focus Research & Innovation, Technology Transfer & Exchange, Community Integration, European Citizenship, Shared Services, Administration & Governance, Art & Culture, Cultural Heritage, History, Media, Equal Rights, Human Rights, People with Disabilities, Social Inclusion, Capacity Building, Cooperation Networks, Institutional Cooperation, Children & Youth, Education & Training, Health, Social Affairs, Sports
Funding area EU Member States
Overseas Countries and Territories (OCTs)
Origin of Applicant EU Member States
Overseas Countries and Territories (OCTs)
Eligible applicants Education and Training Centres, Federal State / Region / City / Municipality / Local Authority, Research Institution, Lobby Group / Professional Association / Trade Union, International Organization, Small and Medium Sized Enterprises, SMEs (between 10 and 249 employees), Microenterprises (fewer than 10 employees), NGO / NPO, Public Services, National Government, Other, Start Up Company, University, Enterprise (more than 250 employees or not defined), Association
Applicant details

eligible non-EU countries:

  • countries associated to Horizon Europe
At the date of the publication of the work programme, there are no countries associated to Horizon Europe. Considering the Union’s interest to retain, in principle, relations with the countries associated to Horizon 2020, most third countries associated to Horizon 2020 are expected to be associated to Horizon Europe with an intention to secure uninterrupted continuity between Horizon 2020 and Horizon Europe. In addition, other third countries can also become associated to Horizon Europe during the programme. For the purposes of the eligibility conditions, applicants established in Horizon 2020 Associated Countries or in other third countries negotiating association to Horizon Europe will be treated as entities established in an Associated Country, if the Horizon Europe association agreement with the third country concerned applies at the time of signature of the grant agreement.

  • low-and middle-income countries

Legal entities which are established in countries not listed above will be eligible for funding if provided for in the specific call conditions, or if their participation is considered essential for implementing the action by the granting authority.

Specific cases:

  • Affiliated entities - Affiliated entities are eligible for funding if they are established in one of the countries listed above.
  • EU bodies - Legal entities created under EU law may also be eligible to receive funding, unless their basic act states otherwise.
  • International organisations - International European research organisations are eligible to receive funding. Unless their participation is considered essential for implementing the action by the granting authority, other international organisations are not eligible to receive funding. International organisations with headquarters in a Member State or Associated Country are eligible to receive funding for ‘Training and mobility’actions and when provided for in the specific call conditions.
Project Partner Yes
Project Partner Details

Unless otherwise provided for in the specific call conditions , legal entities forming a consortium are eligible to participate in actions provided that the consortium includes:

  • 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.
Further info

Proposal page limits and layout:

The application form will have two parts:

  • Part A to be filled in directly online  (administrative information, summarised budget, call-specific questions, etc.)
  • Part B to be downloaded from the Portal submission system, completed and re-uploaded as a PDF in the system

Page limit - Part B: 45 pages

Type of Funding Grants
Financial details
Expected EU contribution per projectThe Commission estimates that an EU contribution of between EUR 2.00 and 3.00 million would allow these outcomes to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of a proposal requesting different amounts.
Indicative budgetThe total indicative budget for the topic is EUR 9.00 million.
Typ of ActionResearch and Innovation Actions (RIA)
Funding rate100%
Submission Proposals must be submitted electronically via the Funding & Tenders Portal Electronic Submission System. Paper submissions are NOTpossible.

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