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Call: Environmental and social cross-compliance of marine policies

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Programme
Acronym HORIZON-CL6-GOVERNANCE
Type of Fund Direct Management
Description of programme
"Horizon Europe - Cluster 6 - Destination 7: Innovative Governance, Environmental Oberservations and Digital Solutions in Support of the Green Deal"

Transformative changes such as the ones required within the Green Deal are dynamic processes that require appropriate governance. At the same time, to ensure coordination and for collaborative decision-making, governance requires multiple channels and networks that provide readily available data and information coming from different sources.

R&I activities under this destination aim at both: experimenting with new ways to govern the transition process and modernising the governance, in particular by making information and knowledge available and accessible. R&I for governance to support the Green Deal shall provide insights into institutional barriers such as lock-ins, path dependency, political and cultural inertia power imbalances and regulatory inconsistencies or weaknesses.

Innovative governance supporting the Green Deal objectives needs to recognise, cope with and promote resilience in the face of on-going shocks and disruptions both globally and across Europe, whether these be climatic, ecological, economic, social, geo-political or related to health. Critical risk assessment and reduction strategies need to be incorporated, including the diversification of infrastructures, resources and knowledge through more self-sufficiency and autonomy.

Taking advantage of the use, uptake, deployment and exploitation of environmental observations[[The capacity to observe the environment, including space-based, in-situ-based (air, sea, land) observation, and citizen observations]] as well as digital solutions, assessed through the “do not harm” principle of the Green Deal, is key for innovative governance models and a more science-based policy design, implementation and monitoring. To maximise impacts of R&I on the ground and spark behavioural and socio-economic change, the knowledge and innovation produced throughout the whole cluster should be widely disseminated to key stakeholders of the relevant sectors of the cluster. In particular, the Agricultural Knowledge and Innovation Systems (AKIS) needs to be reinforced to accelerate the required transformative changes.

Data and information obtained through Environmental Observation is of great value when assessing the state of the planet and is delivering crucial information to support the Green Deal and the climate and ecological transition. Integration of this information from different sources (space-based, airborne including drones, in-situ and citizens observations) with other relevant data and knowledge while ensuring (better) accessible, interoperable or deployable information, delivers information necessary for shaping the direction of the development of policies in the broad context of Cluster 6 of Horizon Europe. A strong link to the European Earth observations programme Copernicus (in Cluster 4) and the European Space Agency’s (ESA) Earth observation programme, as well as support to the Group on Earth Observations (GEO), its European regional initiative (EuroGEO) and the Global Earth Observation System of Systems (GEOSS) is foreseen for topics on environmental observations under this destination. R&I activities relevant to ocean, seas and coastal waters will complement and support the UN Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development and UN Decade on Restoration, the G7 Future of the Seas and Oceans Initiative, the pan-Commission Destination Earth initiative, the European Global Ocean Observing System (EOOS) and the GOOS 2030 strategy.

Digital innovation, in complementarity with Cluster 4 and Digital Europe Programmes activities, should bring benefits for citizens, businesses, researchers, the environment, society at large and policy-makers. The potential of the ongoing digital transformation, and its wider impacts, positive and negative, need to be better understood and monitored in view of future policy design and implementation, governance, and solution development

This destination will develop innovative digital and data based solutions to support communities and society at large, and economic sectors relevant for this cluster to achieve sustainability objectives. R&I activities will add value to the knowledge and cost-effectiveness of innovative technologies in and across primary production sectors, food systems, bioeconomy, ocean and biodiversity.

Knowledge and advice to all actors relevant to this cluster are key to improve sustainability. For instance, primary producers have a particular need for impartial and tailored advice on sustainable management choices. Knowledge and Innovation Systems are key drivers to enhance co-creation and thus speed up innovation and the take-up of results needed to achieve the Green Deal objectives and targets. This will include promoting interactive innovation and co-ownership of results by users, as well as strengthening synergies with other EU Funds in particular the CAP, reinforcing the multi-actor approach and setting up structural networking within national/regional/local AKISs. AKIS goes beyond agriculture, farming and rural activities and covers environment, climate, biodiversity, landscape, bio-based economy, consumers and citizens, i.e., all food and bio-based systems including transformation and distribution chains up until the consumer.

Expected impacts

Proposals for topics under this destination should set out a credible pathway to contributing to innovative governance and sound decision making in policy for the green transition, and more specifically to one or several of the following impacts:

  • Innovative governance models enabling sustainability and resilience notably to achieve better informed decision-making processes, societal engagement and innovation;
  • Green Deal related domains benefit from further deployment and exploitation of Environmental Observation data and products ;
  • A strengthened Global Earth Observation System of Systems (GEOSS) [[The European Commission is a member and co-chair of the Group on Earth Observations (GEO), as such the European Commission adopted the GEO Canberra Declaration (https://earthobservations.org/canberra_declaration.php and Commission Decision C(2019)7337/F1) and committed to contribute to the GEO objectives, including to the Global Earth Observation System of Systems (GEOSS).]];
  • Sustainability performance and competitiveness in the domains covered by Cluster 6 are enhanced through further deployment of digital and data technologies as key enablers;
  • More informed and engaged stakeholders and end users including primary producers and consumers thanks to effective platforms such as Agriculture Knowledge and Innovation Systems (AKIS)
  • Strengthened EU and international science-policy interfaces to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals

When considering their impact, proposals also need to assess their compliance with the “Do No Significant Harm” principle [[as per Article 17 of Regulation (EU) No 2020/852 on the establishment of a framework to facilitate sustainable investment (EU Taxonomy Regulation)]] according to which the research and innovation activities of the project should not be supporting or carrying out activities that make a significant harm to any of the six environmental objectives of the EU Taxonomy Regulation.

Topics under this destination will have impacts in the following areas: “Climate change mitigation and adaptation”; “Clean and healthy air, water and soil”; “Enhancing ecosystems and biodiversity on land and in water”; “Sustainable food systems from farm to fork on land and sea”; “High quality digital services for all”; and “A Competitive and secure data-economy”.

Social innovation is recommended when the solution is at the socio-technical interface and requires social change, new social practices, social ownership or market uptake.

Link Link to Programme
Call
Environmental and social cross-compliance of marine policies
Description of call
"Environmental and social cross-compliance of marine policies"

Expected Outcome:

Successful proposals will enhance new knowledge and design or improve tools to achieve better informed decision-making processes and better integrated policies, supporting the implementation of the European Green Deal, with particular focus on supporting the Water Framework Directive, the Marine Strategy Framework Directive and Nature Directives. In this way proposals will contribute to the development or improvement of innovative governance models enabling sustainability and resilience and of EU and international science-policy interfaces.

Project results are expected to contribute to all the following expected outcomes:

  • Better understanding of policy (in)coherence, potential weaknesses in cross-compliance, trade-offs and underexploited synergies between marine/maritime policies, legislation and regulation is used by the policy making community
    • to halt biodiversity decline and enhance biodiversity and ecosystem restoration and conservation for the benefit of local communities
    • to favour nature-based climate adaptation and mitigation measures
    • to achieve progress towards zero pollution.
  • Analytical contributions, orientations and proposals to improve international, European, national or regional marine/maritime policies, legislation, regulation and their implementation, are provided to the policy making community in order to fully integrate the environmental, social and health requirements and considerations, enabling a better integration and harmonisation of policies.
  • Better understanding of (a potentially regulatorily consolidated) lack of biodiversity, pollution or climate related considerations and socio-economic power balances in decision making that could disadvantage biodiversity and ecosystem conservation and restoration and ecosystem services’ benefits to local communities or disadvantage pollution prevention, reduction and remediation; is used to the benefit of international cooperation and development aid for local communities.
  • Better understanding of the effects of different climate adaptation measures on good ecological, environmental or conservation status, is leading to tangible support for nature-based and socially acceptable climate adaptation and mitigation strategies with low carbon footprint.
  • Better understanding of the weaknesses in consistency between emission control regulation and fresh water and marine environmental quality standards for chemical substances and user or prohibition guidelines at local level (communes, garden maintenance companies etc.), as well as food quality and safety or other health standards is used by the policy making community.
  • Better understanding of the weaknesses in cross-compliance between common agricultural policy and the Water Framework Directive (WFD) and the Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD) such as in relation to eutrophication in fresh and marine waters has inspired the policy making community to introduce improvements.
  • The policy making community exploited a better insight in how the Member States’ Maritime Spatial Plans, River Basin Management Plans and MSFD measures link together concerning climate adaptation and mitigation, biodiversity and ecosystem conservation and restoration, and pollution.

Scope:

Proposals should focus on implementation research on environmental and social cross-compliance of a broad range of marine and maritime policies to detect inconsistencies between different policies, legislation and regulations as barriers for the Green Deal and its strategies (EU biodiversity strategy for 2030, Climate Adaptation Strategy, the zero pollution ambition) in the marine domain.

Actions should address one or more of the following options:

1. Environmental and social cross-compliance and coherence of marine policies for nature-based climate adaptation and mitigation

A sufficient scientific knowledge base is needed to be able to judge and avoid potential exemptions of Water Framework Directive and Marine Strategy Framework Directive requirements or conflicts with NATURA 2000 legislation for new coastal infrastructure licences for climate adaptation and mitigation actions. The implementation of Article 4(7) of the WFD on how to deal with new physical modifications to (including coastal) water bodies currently differs considerably from one Member State to another.

Proposals should analyse European, national or regional marine/maritime policies, legislation and regulation, in particular related to the Water Framework Directive, Marine Strategy Framework Directive and Nature Directives versus marine sectorial and marine spatial planning legislation, regulation and implementation focusing on climate adaptation and mitigation. Proposals should review the knowledge on the effects of different climate adaptation and mitigation measures on good ecological, environmental or conservation status, also taking into account the benefits of traditional and indigenous knowledge and experience on climate adaptation and mitigation ecosystem services for integration in policy implementation.

Proposals should identify weaknesses in cross-compliance and coherence of marine/maritime policies, legislation and regulation to favour nature-based climate adaptation and mitigation measures. They should make proposals for improvement and define research and innovation needs to cover gaps in knowledge to assess effects of different climate adaptation and mitigation measures on good ecological, environmental or conservation status to support environmentally friendly decision making.

2. Environmental and social cross-compliance and coherence of marine policies to halt biodiversity decline and enhance restoration and conservation for the benefit of local communities

Proposals should analyse international, European, national or regional marine/maritime policies, legislation and regulation (Convention on Biological Diversity, Biodiversity Beyond National Jurisdiction, Environmental Impact Assessment etc.) versus marine sectorial (such as International Seabed Authority, international fisheries regulation, fossil fuel exploration/exploitation, marine wildlife trade, agriculture, waste, etc.) and marine spatial planning legislation, regulation and implementation focusing on biodiversity and ecosystem conservation and restoration, including Marine Protected Area assignments.

Proposals should identify weaknesses in cross-compliance and coherence of marine/maritime policies, legislation and regulation to halt biodiversity decline and enhance restoration and conservation for the benefit of local communities. They should make proposals for improvement to support environmentally friendly decision making at all governance levels, also taking into account the benefits of traditional and indigenous knowledge and experience on biodiversity and ecosystem services for integration in policy implementation.

3. Environmental and social cross-compliance and coherence of marine policies to achieve progress towards zero pollution

Proposals should focus on implementation research on environmental and social cross-compliance and coherence of a broad range of marine and maritime policies to detect inconsistencies between different policies, legislation and regulations in order to achieve progress in the elimination of historical and future pollution. Proposals should analyse international, European, national or regional marine/maritime policies, legislation and regulation, versus marine sectorial legislation, regulation and implementation focusing on all kinds of pollution. They should make proposals for improvement to eliminate inconsistencies at all relevant governance levels and define potential scientific needs to achieve them.

The size of requested EU contribution should be commensurate to the breadth of the project scope.

The proposals should cover a representative set of coastal areas or regions across Europe varying according to size and geographical, environmental, socio-economic, institutional and administrative conditions (regional, inter-regional, macro-region, cross-border).

Interactive research approaches should be used to engage with local, regional, national and – where relevant - international authorities, as well as local communities, citizens and other relevant stakeholders, considering gender, age and socio-economic background, where relevant.

Projects should build on existing knowledge and integrate results from multiple origins, including other EU, international (for example UN) or national projects or studies. Some cooperation activities with projects financed under topics from Destinations “Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services” and “Clean environment and zero pollution” and Green Deal calls (like LC-GD-7-1-2020 Restoration of Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services) could be included. This topic should also be linked to the Horizon Europe Missions Ocean, seas and waters and Adaptation to Climate Change including Societal Transformation, the Partnership for a climate neutral, sustainable and productive Blue Economy, the Biodiversity Partnership, the Partnership Water security for the planet (Water4All) or other partnerships where relevant.

Link Link to Call
Thematic Focus Research & Innovation, Technology Transfer & Exchange, Capacity Building, Cooperation Networks, Institutional Cooperation, Clustering, Development Cooperation, Economic Cooperation, Climate, Climate Change, Environment & Biodiversity, Circular Economy, Sustainability, Natural Resources, Green Technologies & Green Deal, Administration & Governance, Agriculture & Forestry, Fishery, Food, Health, Social Affairs, Sports, Consumer Protection
Funding area EU Member States
Overseas Countries and Territories (OCTs)
Origin of Applicant EU Member States
Overseas Countries and Territories (OCTs)
Eligible applicants Public Services, Federal State / Region / City / Municipality / Local Authority, National Government, Research Institution, International Organization, Small and Medium Sized Enterprises, SMEs (between 10 and 249 employees), NGO / NPO, University, Enterprise (more than 250 employees or not defined)
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 8.00 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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