Call for proposals for Europe as a global actor H2020-INT-SOCIETY-2015 Closed!


The Framework Programme for Research and Innovation (2014-2020) is implemented by specific programme and work programmes.

The “Societal challenges” responds directly to the policy priorities and societal challenges that are identified in the Europe 2020 strategy and that aim to stimulate the critical mass of research and innovation efforts needed to achieve the Union's policy goals.

The specific objective is to fully exploit the potential of Europe's talent pool and to ensure that the benefits of an innovation-led economy are both maximised and widely distributed across the Union in accordance with the principle of excellence.

Funding shall be focused on the following specific objectives:
(a) Health, demographic change and well-being.
(b) Food security, sustainable agriculture and forestry, marine, maritime and inland water research. and the bioeconomy.
(c) Secure, clean and efficient energy.
(d) Smart, green and integrated transport.
(e) Climate action, environment, resource efficiency and raw materials.
(f) Europe in a changing world - Inclusive, innovative and reflective societies.
(g) Secure societies - Protecting freedom and security of Europe and its citizens.


Actions foreseen within this call for proposals include the following topics:

  • INT-03-2015: Europe's contribution to a value-based global order and its contestants. The notion of and access to global justice has been at the centre of many debates about the objectives and legitimacy of global governance and international law. For some, global justice implies solidarity with all humankind on the basis of inter-culturally shared values. Others think that such a broad conception of justice is untenable, and that high levels of justice may, if at all, only be attained at the level of the nation-state. While the debate is open on what a just global order can be and which values it could or should comprise, one can identify certain conditions that global political action would need to fulfil to move closer to the ideal type of such an order. Parting from a European view of global justice and human rights, European policy-makers regularly portray the European Union as an ethical global player promoting values like democracy and human rights in its external relations. Moreover, the EU's engagement in the fight for sustainability and against poverty and conflicts in the world may be an indicator of a determination to spreading its values so as to render the world more just. However, the Union's real impact on global justice, also at the institutional level, remains not only underspecified but is often also contested.
  • INT-04-2015: The European Union's contribution to global development: in search of greater policy coherence. Development policy represents one of the key areas of activity of EU external relations. In order to further enhance the impact of its actions in this policy domain, the European Union, in particular the European Consensus on Development, has, since the mid-2000s repeatedly emphasized the need for greater "policy coherence for development" (PCD). By referring to this concept, strengthened by Article 208 of the Lisbon Treaty, the Union recognizes that non-development policies can have significant effects on third countries, contributing to or undermining its development policy objectives. To minimize contradictions and build synergies between development and non-development policies, the EU increasingly strives to take greater account of developing country needs and interests in the five global challenge areas of the PCD work programme: trade and finance, climate change, global food security, migration and security, as addressed in the 2011 and 2013 Policy Coherence Reports. In cooperation with the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), the EU has also been among the key promoters of PCD on a global scale. The idea that greater policy coherence is needed to advance global development policy objectives is also expected to play a key role in the debate on a future post-2015 development agenda. This was underlined by the Council Conclusions of May 2012 that encouraged the Commission to develop a more evidence-based approach to further improve monitoring, implementation and follow-up.
  • INT-05-2015: Rethinking the European Union crisis response mechanism in light of recent conflicts. In recent years, the European Union or its members have, on several occasions, intervened in third countries to give support for conflict resolution or to counter destabilisation or other security threats. In general terms, such interventions can happen in different ways, such as military operations, intelligence cooperation, military training or humanitarian logistical support. In the European Union, the Treaty of Lisbon foresees different response mechanisms, which can be targeted to the specific crisis it intends to tackle. They include joint disarmament operations, humanitarian and rescue tasks, military advice and assistance tasks, conflict prevention and peace-keeping tasks, tasks of combat forces in crisis management, including peace-making and post-conflict stabilisation. Such operations, however, have an impact both on the perception of the EU in third countries as well as on the international political and economic relations.
  • INT-06-2015: Re-invigorating the partnership between the two shores of the Mediterranean. During the last decade, the Mediterranean basin has inspired several concepts, instruments and policies like the Barcelona process, the Euro-Mediterranean Partnership, the Union for the Mediterranean, the European Neighbourhood Policy, action plans and association agreements. The boundaries of the Mediterranean area are not clearly delimited. This region could only include the Mediterranean basin countries (with direct access to the Mediterranean), whereas other specialists take into account the influence of other partners, for example the Gulf States. For several decades, bilateral approaches to cooperation between the Northern and Southern shores of the Mediterranean have been favoured and this is still prevailing. In this context, an important question arises on the effectiveness of bilateralism versus regionalism taking into account the role of the European Neighbourhood Policy in this region as well as how such policies are perceived by the South. Furthermore, following recent developments in the region, it is important to identify and characterise new leaderships in the Mediterranean area taking into account the power shifts among strategic players as well as the role and significance of other countries that are not part the Mediterranean area.
  • INT-07-2015: Towards a new geopolitical order in the South and East Mediterranean region. For several years, the political landscape of the South and East Mediterranean countries (SEMCs) has been quickly reshaped, affecting the geopolitical order of the whole SEMCs and Middle East area. Regimes that were established since many decades in Tunisia, Egypt and Libya were overthrown while other political destabilisations and conflicts are on-going in Syria, Yemen and Lebanon. Strong tensions exist between the establishment and the current processes of political transformation. The SEMCs and Middle East region is often considered as one entity while each country and region has its own reality: political formations, powerful bodies – sometimes interconnected with neighbours or other regional powers in the area – influence the political situation on the internal and external scene. The political transformations that the region is facing, from war, conflict, revolution or transition, have also major impacts on the population of the region. This topic aims at better understanding these different realities in order to assess the complex developments in the region. The future of the area will have significant implications both on the regional and international scenes, as well as on the relationship between Europe and the South and East Mediterranean countries. The current and future role of the EU in the Middle East will also have to be investigated.
  • INT-08-2015: The European Union and the Eastern Partnership. The European Union's Eastern and North-Eastern neighbours include six post-Soviet countries of strategic importance with whom the EU has sought to reinforce relationships since the 1990s. Belarus, Moldova, Ukraine and the three countries of the South Caucasus (Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia) form together part of the EU's Eastern Partnership. The relations that the Union maintains with these countries are structured around bilateral and multilateral strategies aimed at establishing durable political, economic and cultural ties. This includes intensified research and innovation collaboration through the newly established Panel on Research and Innovation. Major concerns for the EU's foreign policy towards this region include democracy, human rights, the rule of law and socio-economic stability. Other recurring issues pertain to good governance, migration and mobility, trade, sustainability and energy security. To date, political and socio-economic transition processes in this complex region have been rather slow. Potential reasons for this relate to internal problems and uneven developments in the six countries, but also to historical legacies and the geostrategic context in which the Partnership evolves. All these factors need to be understood and accounted for if the European Union wants to design policies that durably support transition processes in this region.
  • INT-09-2015: The European Union, Turkey and its wider neighbourhood: challenges and opportunities. Since the outset of the European integration process in the aftermath of World War II, Turkey has been an important economic and political partner for the EU and a strategic military ally within NATO, forming a bridge into the Middle East and the Caucasus. Turkey is also a member of the G-20 group and ranks among the top 20 countries in the world regarding the size of the country, its population and the nominal GDP. The process of Turkey's integration with the EU has started in 1963 when it has become an associate member following the Ankara Agreement. Turkey applied for EU membership already in 1987, but was officially recognised as a candidate country in 1999 and the official accession negotiations started in 2005. In 1995 a customs union agreement with the EU was signed. Following the decades of close cooperation, Turkey is already well integrated with the European Union in particular in the socio-economic themes, including cooperation on research and innovation, and in cultural matters. In recent years however, due to the economic and financial crisis as well as continuing tensions in the Middle East and the South and East Mediterranean region, the challenges facing both Turkey and the EU have grown. In this context, the different options for further EU-Turkey cooperation in the next decade should be fully explored, taking into account the rising global importance of Turkey as an independent regional power.
  • INT-10-2015: The European Union and integration challenges in the Balkans. The Balkans represent an interesting neighbouring region for the EU from geographic as well as from political and historical perspectives. Since the launch of the Stabilisation and Association Process (SAP) in 2000, one country from this region (Slovenia) has joined the Union as early as 2004, another one (Croatia) became Member State in July 2013. All the other Balkan countries have the prospect of becoming Member States and are bilaterally engaged with the EU through Stabilisation and Association Agreements (SAA) (i.e. Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Montenegro, Kosovo and Serbia). On its way toward EU membership, each country undergoes different review processes to meet the reform requirements and comply with the so-called EU acquis. In addition, challenges which reflect to a large extent the socio-economic, political, cultural, religious and ethnic diversity of the Balkans have to be addressed and overcome. In its attempts at supporting a transformation toward political and socio-economic stability in the Balkans, the EU is therefore faced with a high degree of complexity.
  • INT-11-2015: European cultural and science diplomacy: exploiting the potential of culture and science in the EU’s external relations. At a time when other major global players, such as China or South Korea, are stepping up their public diplomacy efforts around cultural issues, including science and education, cultural diplomacy becomes also an emerging interest in the European Union. A number of recent initiatives have been launched by the European Commission and the European Parliament to reinforce the link between EU foreign and cultural policies. The Commission's "European Agenda for Culture in a Globalising World" has led to the establishment of a Member States' expert group on culture and external relations (taking China as a test case), which has delivered a report with recommendations. Following its 2011 resolution on “Cultural dimensions of EU external actions”, the European Parliament has launched a Preparatory Action on culture in external relations, implemented by the Commission. These initiatives are based on the assumption that European cultural heritage and the long-standing experience with protecting it, as well as European science, need to be promoted, and therefore included in a broader global strategy. Effective and coherent EU cultural and science diplomacy cannot only be a major means of furthering inter-cultural dialogues with third countries and regions, but it can also help in promoting trade in (cultural) goods and services to and from the EU. Moreover, it provides a significant tool for projecting Europe's immensely rich and diverse cultural heritage to the world and of allowing the EU to contribute to the global governance of culture and science. Inversely, cultural and scientific exchanges can also contribute to facilitating diplomatic relations.
  • INT-12-2015: The cultural, scientific and social dimension of EU-LAC relations. A shared history, as well as cultural, political and economic ties, closely connect Europe and Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC). Individual countries enjoy close bilateral relations, and cooperation at regional and sub-regional level is gaining momentum. At bi-regional level, the Strategic Partnership between the EU and LAC was launched in Rio de Janeiro in 1999 and has gradually been upgraded into the current EU-CELAC Partnership. Aided by this process, the two regions have cooperated on a wide range of issues in a number of sectors, including those identified by the EU-CELAC Action Plan and more particularly the Joint Initiative for Research and Innovation (JIRI) adopted at the Madrid Summit in 2010. Today, the European Union is the leading investor in the region, the second largest trading partner after the U.S.A. and a major provider of development cooperation assistance. However, beyond the economic relationship, the EU-CELAC cooperation needs to reinforce the cultural, scientific and social ties and common vision between the two world regions.

European community funding

The Community provisional funding available for the call for proposals is:

  • 25,00 Million EUR (Global Budget)

All the important deadlines

  • 28 May 2015 - 6 years ago (Deadline for the presentation of proposals)

Further information about the call

Official webpage of the call

Useful documents

  • Call for Europe as a global actor (Legal base)

Organisations eligible to participate

Opened to the following bodies or institutes with legal status established in the covered areas:

  • Any legal organisation

Covered areas

Bodies or institutes must have their registered legal seat in one of the countries taking part in the Programme which are:

  • European Union (EU)

Directorate-Generale responsible

Directorate-General for Research

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