Europe in a changing world – inclusive, innovative and reflective Societies
Europe is facing a number of important social, economic and political challenges. It has to rise to the challenges posed by global interdependencies and unprecedented transformations, which strongly affect its capacity to ensure economic growth and more jobs, social stability and a recognised diplomatic position in world matters. However, it suffers from sluggish growth, difficulties to effectively implement structural reforms in favour of innovation and employment and increasing scepticism among citizens, especially young people, that Europe may not be well-equipped to get quickly out of the crisis.
This Work Programme for 2014 and 2015 supports actions that will give Europe a cutting edge and/or sufficient resilience in facing the current and future difficulties affecting its development. More precisely, it will support several aims in the three intertwined areas of inclusive, innovative and reflective societies.
The first aim is to gain a greater understanding of the societal changes in Europe and of their impact on social cohesion and to analyse and develop social, economic and political inclusion and positive inter-cultural dynamics in the EU and with international partners, through cutting-edge science and inter-disciplinarity, technological advances and organisational innovations. The fight against the crisis must still concentrate our efforts in order to analyse, not so much the already rather well-documented causes and developments of the crisis, but rather the new ideas, strategies and governance structures which will help Europe to surmount its current severe deficiencies (Call EURO). Given the current pessimism in many countries, it is of the utmost importance that Europe defines new visions for its development and these efforts should, as a matter of priority, stress the integration of the young generation in an innovative, inclusive and sustainable Europe (Call YOUNG). The global dimension is also included with a particular focus on the strategic choices Europe should enhance in order to further its research and innovation capacities and strengthen its principles and impact in several important regions of the world (Call INT).
The second aim is to foster the development of innovative societies and policies in Europe through the engagement of citizens, civil society organisations, enterprises and users in research and innovation and the promotion of coordinated research and innovation policies. This Work Programme specifically addresses the development of new forms of innovation that can play a big role in overcoming the crisis and creating opportunities for growth. Such efforts include innovation in the public sector, where new and creative ways of delivering public services can improve efficiency, effectiveness and quality, while reducing costs and lessening the burden on citizens and enterprises. They also involve enterprises, young entrepreneurs, incubators, universities and innovation centres and other relevant actors through support to open innovation, business model innovation, public sector innovation and social innovation (Call INSO).
The third aim is to contribute to an understanding of Europe's intellectual basis, its history and the many European and non-European influences, as an inspiration for our lives today (Call REFLECTIVE). In challenging times for its internal coherence, Europe should improve the understanding of its cultural heritage and of its identities in order to strengthen cohesion and solidarity and to encourage modern visions and uses of its past. Rather than separating people and inspiring misplaced nostalgia, our understanding of cultures researched by scientists will attempt to see historical and contemporary commonalities and/or bridges between differences. In these efforts, new technologies and digital cultural heritage should play an important innovative role as they enable new and richer interpretations of our common European culture while contributing to sustainable economic growth.