Projects should contribute to all of the following expected outcomes:
- Policymakers, practitioners and researchers have increased understanding of the validity of theoretical models, the possibilities to implement recommendations, toolkits, narratives and methodologies and other solutions for issues for democracy and governance stemming [in particular] from Horizon 2020 projects.
- Testing and uptake of research results on democracy and governance relevant for the future of democracy in the EU, involving stakeholders (non-science actors, including public bodies, NGOs, civil society organisations, policymakers, educational bodies, other potential end-users of the research results, etc.) to explore their readiness to implement the solutions developed in the previous research and innovation project, possibly adapting the solutions to the respective societal / administrative / political context based on the tests.
- Better informed decision-making on changes in democratic processes and governance, based on scientific, policy, legal, etc. conclusions from experiments with the results of such earlier projects in a practical / real life context, that allow to replicate the methods, recommendations for legislative changes, or translate the research results into innovations.
The aim is to bring to society the benefits from previously EU-funded research in the field of democracy and governance be it in Horizon 2020 or other relevant programmes (such as Citizens, Equality, Rights and Values Programme or the Global Europe Programme). The proposals have to build on the rich stock of actionable recommendations, knowledge, toolkits, educational material, and scientific methods etc. developed in particular by the over 300 Horizon 2020 projects on democracy and governance related issues. For proposals building on Global Europe research in particular, cooperation with third countries is encouraged.
Proposals have to credibly identify a targeted democracy and/or governance related issue that can be addressed by implementing existing research and innovation results. In addition, proposals should take those research and innovation results further through testing and experimenting in the relevant operational environment, and enhancing the potential take-up of innovative solutions by civil society, public institutions, including educational institutions, and policymakers at all governance levels, including in third countries. Potential instruments for this testing, such as twinning or the launch of open calls for pilots, are possible through financial support to third parties. Proposals suggesting financial support to third parties should lay out the selection criteria that will be used. In addition, proposals should demonstrate the need or interest for the solution they propose by involving end-users in the project design. Proposals should also provide a clear pathway to impact as well as a comprehensive risk assessment plan with different mitigation strategies.
Proposals should address issues in line with the European Democracy Action Plan or EU policy initiatives that emanated from this Action Plan.
Possibilities of coordination with related activities funded through in particular the Citizens, Equality, Rights and Values Programme or the Global Europe Programme should be analysed. Cooperation should be sought with the Network for innovative solutions for the future of democracy funded under HORIZON-CL2-2022-DEMOCRACY-02-01.
Proposals should involve end-users (including civil society organisations) and/or strategic partners who can foster the societal impact of the research and innovation results. Possible end-users and strategic partners could include for instance local or regional authorities, schools/universities, cultural institutions, civil society, foundations, political parties, trade unions, or youth organisations. Proposals should also involve practitioners and experts in science communication.
Besides fostering the societal impact of previous democracy and governance related research and innovation actions, proposals should explore and draw lessons on how the translation between research results in this field and policy actions takes place and what kinds of expertise is needed for achieving this. Proposals could also develop strategies to promote citizens activism and community engagement to build inclusive societies.
Proposals are also encouraged to collaborate with the JRC Competence Centre on Participatory and Deliberative Democracy, particularly with respect to actions and initiatives directly contributing to the provisions of the European Democracy Action Plan for the promotion of democratic engagement and active participation beyond elections.