Research & Innovation - Participant Portal

TOPIC : The Asia-Pacific as a strategic region for Europe

Topic identifier: ENG-GLOBALLY-06-2017
Publication date: 14 October 2015

Types of action: RIA Research and Innovation action
Planned opening date:
04 October 2016
Deadline: 02 February 2017 17:00:00

Time Zone : (Brussels time)
  Horizon 2020 H2020 website
Pillar: Societal Challenges
Work Programme Year: H2020-2016-2017
Topic Description
Specific Challenge:

The Asia-Pacific is a large and diverse region, encompassing industrialised countries, emerging economies and developing countries. Perhaps due to this diversity, and save a few specific cases, the European Union has lacked a strategic approach towards the region, despite strong economic interests and heightened security concerns in the area. Several EU Member States have adopted an active bilateral approach towards key partners, but the European Union has mostly failed to speak with one voice in relevant fora. Nowadays the multiple and complex challenges shared by the two regions, ranging from climate change and sustainable development to conventional and non-conventional security challenges, are opening up new opportunities for the EU to become more involved in the region beyond economic cooperation although differences remain in areas like human rights or democratic governance. In order to re-think its role and strategy for the Asia-Pacific, and to fully tap the potential for action at European level, the European Union needs to be supported by sound research showing the concrete implications of further engaging with and in the region in a number of sectorial and geographic areas.


The research to address this challenge should in particular focus on the following key dimensions. It is expected to either comprehensively address one of these dimensions or to combine them. The research may also cover other issues relevant for addressing the specific challenge.

1) Regional integration in South-East Asia and its consequences for Europe

South-East Asia has seen, since 1967, the most ambitious project of regional integration outside of Europe, pursued through the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). It has followed a different integration path to Europe, based on dialogue and non-interference rather than convergence and law. The region has an immense social, cultural and economic potential, but it still faces the challenge of developing a regional identity with both an internal dimension (how to nourish a sense of belonging) and an external dimension (how to engage with foreign powers, such as China, India, the United States, Japan and the EU). The process of nation-building in the ten ASEAN countries and other non-ASEAN countries is incomplete or nascent. It is also confronted with widespread poverty, disruptive migration flows, inter-ethnic conflicts and even territorial disputes. For the EU to engage effectively in South-East Asia and manage the variety of countries and cultures present in the region, it is necessary to understand what ‘region’ means to the peoples of these countries within and beyond the ASEAN context. Research is thus necessary on the mobility of people, knowledge, ideologies, cultures, goods and capital within the region and their influence on the emergence of a South-East Asian identity which would help the EU and its Member States to forge coherent, adapted and culturally relevant foreign policies with all countries in the region.

To that effect, research should also underpin the implementation of the Joint Communication on EU-ASEAN relations in the different sectors and in particular in the field of sectorial cooperation.[1]

2) Governance in and of the Pacific as a challenge for Europe

One of the major strategic challenges in the Asia-Pacific region relates to the governance of the Pacific itself (including Overseas Countries and Territories). The Pacific Islands region represents a unique diversity of nation-state formations and regional and intergovernmental mechanisms, which is experiencing major challenges regarding the protection of its exceptional natural environment, threatened in particular by climate change. The small islands developing states (SIDS) of the Pacific therefore have a central role in the contestation over, competition for, and conservation of some of the world’s key resources, far surpassing their modest size in terms of land mass and population. As the second largest donor of development assistance to the region, the EU’s interests and activities in the Pacific are highly significant and hold important potential for the future. However, the region’s new geopolitical currency is a willingness to seriously engage with emerging definitions of an equal, two-way partnership relation in Pacific terms that expands beyond the monetary dimension of cooperation. The EU is thus at a cross-road in its engagement with the Pacific. Research should examine the emerging governance structures in the region, in terms of sovereignty, state-making, policy autonomy and aid dependency, by paying close attention to issues such as trade and transport, fisheries management, climate change, biodiversity, social inclusion, democracy, blue/green growth and and political CFSP aspects. Research should also comparatively analyse the role and impact of external actors in the region, prominently focussing on the European Union and its Member States but also take account of the influence of, and the interplay with global (China, USA) and regional (Australia, New Zealand) powers in the region. Building on existing research, lessons should be drawn from the Pacific experience for devising new approaches, as well as on how Europe can effectively respond to the strategic challenge posed by the Pacific.

The participation of partners from third countries and regions in the targeted geographic areas in proposals submitted to this topic is strongly encouraged.

The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU in the order of EUR 2.5 million for each dimension would allow this specific challenge to be addressed appropriately. This does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts.

Expected Impact:

Research under this topic is expected to provide a comprehensive overview of the strategic challenges that Europe faces in the various zones of the Asia-Pacific region, and on a range of relevant subjects. Based on this, it will inform different foreign policy actors, processes and initiatives at EU and Member State-level either with a sectorial or geographic focus, especially by providing essential insights on the legal, cultural and socio-economic aspects surrounding their implementation.

[1] JOIN(2015)22 Joint Communication to the European Parliament and the Council - The EU and ASEAN: a partnership with a strategic purpose.

Topic conditions and documents

Please read carefully all provisions below before the preparation of your application.

  1. List of countries and applicable rules for funding: described in part A of the General Annexes of the General Work Programme.
    Note also that a number of non-EU/non-Associated Countries that are not automatically eligible for funding have made specific provisions for making funding available for their participants in Horizon 2020 projects (follow the links to Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, Hong Kong & Macau, India, Japan, Republic of Korea, Mexico, Russia, Taiwan).

  2. Eligibility and admissibility conditions: described in part B and C of the General Annexes of the General Work Programme

    Proposal page limits and layout: Please refer to Part B of the standard proposal template.

  3. Evaluation

    3.1  Evaluation criteria and procedure, scoring and threshold: described in part H of the General Annexes of the General Work Programme

    3.2 Specific evaluation procedure: At least 1 proposal per topic will be selected for funding provided it passes all evaluation thresholds.

    3.3 Submission and evaluation process: Guide to the submission and evaluation process

  4. Indicative timetable for evaluation and grant agreement:

    Information on the outcome of single-stage evaluation: maximum 5 months from the deadline for submission.
    Signature of grant agreements: maximum 8 months from the deadline for submission.
    Members of consortium are required to conclude a consortium agreement, in principle prior to the signature of the grant agreement.
  5. Provisions, proposal templates and evaluation forms for the type(s) of action(s) under this topic:

    Research and Innovation Action:

    Specific provisions and funding rates
    Standard proposal template
    Standard evaluation form
    H2020 General MGA -Multi-Beneficiary
    Annotated Grant Agreement

  6. Additional provisions:

    Horizon 2020 budget flexibility

    Classified information

    Technology readiness levels (TRL) – where a topic description refers to TRL, these definitions apply.

    Financial support to Third Parties – where a topic description foresees financial support to Third Parties, these provisions apply.

  7. Open access must be granted to all scientific publications resulting from Horizon 2020 actions, and proposals must refer to measures envisaged. Where relevant, proposals should also provide information on how the participants will manage the research data generated and/or collected during the project, such as details on what types of data the project will generate, whether and how this data will be exploited or made accessible for verification and re-use, and how it will be curated and preserved.

    This topic participates per default in the open access to research data pilot which aims to improve and maximise access to and re-use of research data generated by projects:
    • The pilot applies to the data needed to validate the results presented in scientific publications. Additionally, projects can choose to make other data available for open access and need to describe their approach in a Data Management Plan (to be provided within six months after the project start).
    • Note that the evaluation phase proposals will not be evaluated more favourably because they are part of the Pilot, and will not be penalised for opting out of the Pilot.
    • Projects can at any stage opt-out of the pilot.
    The legal requirements for projects participating in this pilot are in the article 29.3 of the Model Grant Agreement.
    Further information on the Open Research Data Pilot is made available in the H2020 Online Manual.

  8. Additional documents

    H2020 Work Programme 2016-17: Introduction
    H2020 Work Programme 2016-17: Europe in a changing world - inclusive, innovative and reflective societies
    H2020 Work Programme 2016-17: Dissemination, Exploitation and Evaluation
    H2020 Work Programme 2016-17: General Annexes
    Legal basis: Horizon 2020 - Regulation of Establishment
    Legal basis: Horizon 2020 Rules for Participation
    Legal basis: Horizon 2020 Specific Programme 


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