Ce topic appartient à l'appel Past, present and future of democracies
Identifiant du topic: HORIZON-CL2-2024-DEMOCRACY-01-09

The role and functioning of public administrations in democratic systems

Type d'action : HORIZON Research and Innovation Actions
Nombre d'étapes : Single stage
Date d'ouverture : 04 octobre 2023
Date de clôture : 07 février 2024 17:00
Budget : €9 000 000
Call : Past, present and future of democracies
Call Identifier : HORIZON-CL2-2024-DEMOCRACY-01
Description :


Projects should contribute to all of the following expected outcomes:

  • Better understanding of the changing concept and practices of public administrations and approaches to public management, emerging trends and paradigm shifts, and the role public institutions and public management play in in fostering democratic, economic and social stability.
  • Mapping emerging innovative solutions in public management and institutional framework conditions (e.g. human resource management policies, leadership, new ways of working, changing public decision- and policymaking, etc.) that enable innovation in public administrations and deepen democratic governance.
  • Recommendations for European Union Member States on key focus areas and (from local to EU level) actions as regards public administration modernisation and reform agendas, and whole-government innovation strategies for effective, innovative, future-capable and citizen-centric government administrations in Europe.


Governments are excessively under pressure today to adapt and respond to rapidly changing global economic, social, political, ecological and technological trends, to develop better public policy outcomes and high-quality public services that respond to the needs of their citizens, and to transform their internal operations on the go, creating modern and innovative public administrations. This area of research intends to investigate how European Union governments are approaching public administration and governance reform i.e. what areas they strategically invest in, what challenges they encounter, what (national, European or international) support (expertise, finance) they capitalise on, and how they generally approach transforming their government administrations (through e.g. systems approaches, open government approaches, innovation portfolio approach, organisational framework conditions enabling innovation, etc.) as they face the challenges of today.

The true measure of the successful practice of public service lies in the ability of government administrations to remain faithful to the tenets of democratic society (e.g. respect for human dignity, freedom, democracy, equality, the rule of law, human rights, including the rights of persons belonging to minorities). Therefore, particular attention should be paid to the role and functioning of public institutions in democratic systems, their role in fostering democratic, economic and social stability, and in reforming public management and institutions in ways that enhance citizens’ trust in government and active participation in public affairs [e.g. engagement with citizens, open and transparent public decision- and policymaking, e-democracy, participatory and deliberative democracy, experimentation, working with innovation ecosystems (Quadruple and Quintuple Helix models), etc.], including emerging visions and narratives for public management and institutions.

To this effect, beyond the available literature review and internationally comparable data (e.g. World Economic Forum, United Nations, World Bank, European institutions, etc.), this research will need to involve intensive engagement with national government officials orchestrating and engaged in internal innovation processes, large-scale data collection and analysis, and drawing up illustrative cases from European Union Member States and OECD governments actively working towards improving democratic governance and innovation in government administrations.

Proposals are also encouraged to collaborate with the JRC unit working on strengthening and connecting science-for-policy ecosystems across the EU,[1] particularly with respect to projects interested in building the analytical foundations for reforms in public administration and in the science, technology and innovation system to improve evidence-informed policymaking processes, the use of expertise in policymaking, the establishment of boundary organisations and competence-building of knowledge brokers, and the public deliberation between science, policymaking, and society at large.

[1]See https://knowledge4policy.ec.europa.eu/evidence-informed-policy-making/topic/science-policy-ecosystems_en or https://knowledge4policy.ec.europa.eu/projects-activities/strengthening-connecting-science-policy-ecosystems-across-eu_en