Reducing inequalities and social exclusion in Europe are crucial challenges for the future of Europe. At the same time, there is great potential for Europe through opportunities provided, for example, by new forms of innovation and by the engagement of citizens. Supporting inclusive, innovative and reflective societies is a prerequisite for a sustainable European integration.
EU research and innovation will address social exclusion, discriminations and various forms of inequalities. It will explore new forms of innovation and strengthen the evidence base for the Innovation Union, the European Research Area and other relevant EU policies. It will promote coherent and effective cooperation with third countries. Finally, it will address the issues of memories, identities, tolerance and cultural heritage.
In short, this Societal Challenge of the Horizon 2020 programme aims at fostering a greater understanding of Europe, by providing solutions and support inclusive, innovative and reflective European societies with an innovative public sector in a context of unprecedented transformations and growing global interdependencies.
The current SC6 Work Programme 2016-2017 tackles four major challenges currently faced by the European Union:
- Economic recovery and inclusive and sustainable long-term growth with focus on co-creation for growth and inclusion: engaging citizens, users, academia, social partners, public authorities, businesses including SMEs, creative sector and social entrepreneurs.
- Reversing inequalities in Europe. For more inclusive societies to take shape in the medium term, coherent visions will need to be devised on how to foster a social and economic framework that promotes fairness and sustainability in Europe.
- The global environment in which the EU operates is constantly evolving. Recent developments show just how dynamically the strategic and geopolitical contexts are changing.
- A better understanding of Europe’s cultural and social diversity and of its past will inform the reflection about present problems and help to find solutions for shaping Europe’s future.
The four calls are supplemented by a set of specific smaller activities supporting in particular the implementation of the Innovation Union, the European Research Area, the strategy for international cooperation in R&I and COST.