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Call: Towards a new normal? Employment and social impacts of changing supply chains and declining trade intensities

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Programme
Acronym HE-CL2-TRANSFORMATIONS
Type of Fund Direct Management
Description of programme
"Horizon Europe - Cluster 2 - Destination 3: Innovative research on social and economic transformations"

Europe is being transformed by changes that impact the livelihoods and wellbeing of its citizens. Such changes present important opportunities for the EU to innovate and shape forward looking inclusive societies and economies, while avoiding the mistakes of the past and promoting an inclusive recovery that strengthens economic and social resilience. However, demographic changes, digitalisation, automation, environmental degradation, the transition to a low carbon economy and globalisation all pose multidimensional, interconnected and complex social and economic challenges. At the same time, there has been an increase in inequality, poverty and social exclusion, a polarisation of skill needs in the labour market, and a slowdown in convergence in income and employment in most European countries. Inequalities threaten social and territorial cohesion, economic growth and wellbeing. Moreover, the COVID-19 pandemic has magnified the pervasive inequalities across European societies, with significant differences in the way losses and costs of the COVID-19 pandemic and the crisis that followed are distributed in society. To seize the opportunities emerging from socio-economic transformations in a strongly connected and integrated world, these challenges need to be better understood and tackled.

Population ageing increases social protection spending on pensions, health and long-term care and restricts the capacity of the redistributive system to reduce inequality. Societies also need to adapt to a new role elderly people may have, with their experience and capacity to remain productive. Policies need to support a transition towards more environmentally-friendly ways of producing and providing private and public services, while ensuring all regions and individuals equally benefit from these transitions and that no one is left behind, in particular when it comes to access to essential services. Access to social protection for those in need should be ensured, while making sure that everyone can participate in economic, social, political and cultural developments. Social protection supports individuals in emergencies that they can no longer cope with on their own and, in addition, protect them by means of long-term measures – whether in the event of illness, accident, need for care, unemployment or old age. Moreover, mitigation and adaptation strategies are essential to make sure population movements shaped by these transitions are positive for all areas, and do not contribute to deepening the divide between regions or countries.

Education and training are key long-term factors in preventing and reversing inequalities and promoting equal opportunities, inclusion and social mobility. However, the educational outcomes of younger generations are still determined to a large extent by the socio-economic background of their parents rather than by their own potential. Promoting and ensuring inclusion and equity in education and training is thus fundamental in breaking these patterns.

In this context, it is important to reflect on the nature of economic growth and the need to better capture the different dimensions of social progress. It is increasingly important to distinguish between the different purposes of measurement: economic activity, social and cultural wellbeing and sustainability, and to develop relevant indicators. This is particularly the case as the pervasive effects of the COVID-19 pandemic has altered the economic performance and socio-economic fabric of many countries in Europe.

Migration has been a critical component of the makeup of European societies, one that is likely to dominate policy and political agendas for many years to come. It is an issue requiring comprehensive and coordinated European responses in order to ripen its benefits, both inside and outside the EU, involving Member States, Associated and partner countries, EU actors, as well as local and regional authorities, civil society organisations, migrants’ representatives – including migrant organisations – and economic and social partners. Partnerships between these stakeholders are needed to make the most of the positive consequences of migration, as well as ensuring that migration occurs in an orderly and dignified manner. The task of research is to better understand migration in a global and EU context, assist in its governance, support security and help the socio-economic as well as civil-political inclusion of migrants in European societies. It can enhance policies by providing evidence on the causes and consequences of the phenomena and facilitate timely response by identifying trends and suggesting possible policy solutions.

The implementation of the research activities in the two calls of this Destination will contribute to a comprehensive and reflective European strategy for inclusive growth, including social, economic, ecological and historical dimensions. This will strengthen the resilience of the EU and of its citizens, and will ensure that no one is left behind, including through the accumulation and preservation of human capital in the face of old and new risks. It will equally support productivity gains and their fair distribution, as well as boosting social and economic resilience that is essential to face situations of crisis such as in the case of COVID-19. Activities will contribute to EU migration and mobility policies, both internal and external. The overall knowledge generated, including a holistic understanding of societal wellbeing, will feed into the design of policy strategies in line with the above mentioned objectives and will facilitate the assessment of policy needs and outcomes in the field of the societal and economic transformations.

The Destination calls for proposals that may help in reaching these key strategic policy objectives in the EU. It invites proposals to do so by integrating feedback loops with stakeholders and policymakers that may help in developing suggestions and recommendations throughout their lifecycles. These proposals should take into consideration the stakeholders associated to the decisions that are suggested, and should also account for the context in which decisions are made. Therefore, in order to maximize and facilitate the uptake of group-sensitive recommendations in policy, they should include analyses of political and financial trade-offs associated to the recommendations produced, reflecting also on contextual changes needed to implement proposals developed. Proposals are also invited to build upon previous research funded by Horizon 2020, valorising its experience and findings.

Expected impacts:

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

  • Social and economic resilience and sustainability are strengthened through a better understanding of the social, ethical, political and economic impacts of drivers of change (such as technology, globalisation, demographics, mobility and migration) and their interplay.

Inclusive growth is boosted and vulnerabilities are reduced effectively through evidence-based policies for protecting and enhancing employment, education, social fairness and tackling inequalities, including in response to the socio-economic challenges due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Link Link to Programme
Call
Towards a new normal? Employment and social impacts of changing supply chains and declining trade intensities
Description of call
"Towards a new normal? Employment and social impacts of changing supply chains and declining trade intensities"

Expected Outcome

Projects are expected to contribute to all of the following expected outcomes:

  • Develop knowledge on the ongoing and expected changes and disruptions in trade patterns, global value chains and production networks.
  • Identify innovative ways to maximise the potential and mitigate the adverse social, economic and environmental impacts of changes in global value chains and international trade patterns in European urban and rural areas. Research should take into consideration impacts on employment, job quality, economic growth, income inequalities and on social cohesion and well-being.
  • Assess the impacts of the coronavirus pandemic and related public health crisis on global value chains, production networks and security of supplies, and their short- and longer-term implications for employment and social resilience in the EU.
  • Unfold policy scenarios for future value chain developments, production networks and level playing field trade relations, which will ensure security of strategic supplies, strengthen the economic resilience of societies, foster sustainable employment creation in the EU and mitigate the impacts of future trade and value chains disruptions on EU employment.
  • Produce new, innovative methodologies and ways for assessing and monitoring the level playing field developments in trade and value chains in the EU.

Scope:

Globalization has expanded the value and supply chains and shifted trade patterns and dynamics. On the one hand, the fall of transportation costs, the accelerating digitalisation and the reduction of obstacles to international trade have facilitated the integration of EU companies in global value chains and supported job creation. On the other hand, the profound transformations of global value chains, trade and production networks have raised significant social, economic and environmental challenges, including increasing divergence in productivity, labour market effects in the EU, decent work and working conditions in low-cost production countries slow progress towards resource-efficiency and decarbonisation, lack of security of and access to strategic supplies.

Research should first conceptualise the actual global and sectoral trade patterns, value chains, supply chains and production networks in light of the EU’s long-term policy priorities of social resilience and competitive sustainability. It should then analyse the impacts of different trade patterns, value chains and production networks on the EU value added, labour market, income inequalities, decent work and social cohesion in urban and rural areas, taking into account gender differences. Research should develop a comparative assessment with the main strategic partners and provide innovative, forward-looking policy scenarios with recommendations for future global value chains, trade patterns and trade intensities, which will ensure security of strategic supplies, promote a high level of employment and tackle income inequalities in the EU, while safeguarding job quality and social and territorial cohesion. The policy scenarios should take into consideration analytical approaches, which will improve the economic and environmental performance of supply chains in the EU. The policy scenarios and recommendations should focus on EU, national and sectoral strategies, policy measures and targeted actions aimed at shaping fair, inclusive and sustainable trade patterns, value and supply chains as well as production networks. They should be coherent with the EU long-term policy priorities of social and economic resilience, competitive sustainability and the twin transition (digital and green).

The proposals should take into consideration the impacts of the coronavirus pandemic and the related public health crisis on trade patterns and global value chains as well as the impacts of international trade disruptions, due to the lockdown measures, on added value, EU employment, job quality, income inequality and social cohesion.

Proposals will further develop innovative methodologies for assessing and monitoring, quantitatively and qualitatively, level playing field developments in trade, value chains, supply chains and employment. The innovative methodologies should also cover level playing field developments in key policy areas of taxation, competition and social policies.

The research will deploy multi-disciplinary methodologies and target multi-dimensional aspects, developing cross-sectoral and forward-looking responses, involving external stakeholders and experts, including European social partners, regional and national authorities and international trade, labour market and social policy experts.

Cross-cutting Priorities:

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Thematic Focus Research & Innovation, Technology Transfer & Exchange, Health, Social Affairs, Sports, Equal Rights, Human Rights, People with Disabilities, Social Inclusion, Digitisation, ICT, Telecommunication, Green Technologies & Green Deal, Competitiveness, SME, Clustering, Development Cooperation, Economic Cooperation, Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy, Art & Culture, Cultural Heritage, History, Media
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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