Research & Innovation - Participant Portal


TOPIC : The strategic potential of EU external trade policy

Topic identifier: ENG-GLOBALLY-05-2017
Publication date: 14 October 2015

Types of action: RIA Research and Innovation action
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 Updates
  • 07 February 2017 14:57

    As from 1 January 2017 Switzerland is associated to the entire Horizon 2020. In practical terms this means that for all Horizon 2020 projects for which the GA is signed as from 1 January the Swiss participants are automatically eligible for funding and may count towards the minimum number of participants required for a project (see the eligibility criteria for funding and participation under Regulation 1290/2013 on Horizon 2020 Rules for participation).

    For more information see:

    CALL : H2020-SC6-ENG-GLOBALLY-2016-2017
    The call deadline was Thursday 2 of February 17 Pm 2017. A total of 111 proposals were submitted in response to this call. The number of proposals for each topic is shown below including the indicative budget of the topic:

    ENG-GLOBALLY-1:RIA: 15 submitted
    ENG-GLOBALLY-2: RIA:14 submitted
    ENG-GLOBALLY-3: RIA:25 submitted
    ENG-GLOBALLY-5:RIA: 5 submitted
    ENG-GLOBALLY-6: RIA:8 submitted
    ENG-GLOBALLY-10:RIA: 4 submitted
    (indicative budget: for topics 1,2,3,5,6,10 : 27 M€)
    ENG-GLOBALLY-8: RIA: 17 submitted (indicative budget: 2,5 M€)
    ENG-GLOBALLY-4: CSA : 10 proposals (indicative budget: 1,5 M€)
    ENG-GLOBALLY-7: CSA : 13 proposals (indicative budget: 1,5 M€)


  • 13 January 2017 11:47

    As from 1 January 2017 Switzerland is associated to the entire Horizon 2020. In practical terms this means that for all Horizon 2020 projects for which the GA is signed as from 1 January the Swiss participants are automatically eligible for funding and may count towards the minimum number of participants required for a project (see the eligibility criteria for funding and participation under Regulation 1290/2013 on Horizon 2020 Rules for participation).

    For more information see:

Topic Description
Specific Challenge:

In its "Strategic Agenda for the Union in Times of Change" for the period 2014 to 2019, the European Council identified the need to "maximize the EU's clout" in global affairs, notably by "ensuring consistency between Member States' and EU foreign policy goals and by improving coordination and coherence between the main fields of EU external action, such as trade (…) development and economic policies".[1] One area which definitely promises maximised EU clout in global affairs is trade. Given the European Union's significant weight as the world's largest trading block, its external trade policies can be a major source of a reinforced European role as a global actor if they are strategically deployed and contribute to a broader, coherent foreign policy approach. EU trade policy has to find the right balance between promoting the EU's economic interests while also taking into account broader EU policy objectives (e.g. promotion of human rights, sustainability, interlinking climate and energy policy objectives, etc.). Such a balance is difficult to achieve and the EU has sometimes been criticised either for letting its economic interests prevail or for being naïve over conditionality in the international trade battles. Coherence between the EU's and Member States' trade policy should be ensured, as well as coherence between trade and other (external) policies. To reap the strategic potential of EU external trade policy, its current functioning, as well as its intended and unintended consequences, need to be fully understood from a multidisciplinary perspective, and forward-looking perspectives have to be developed on how to make it more effective.


Research under this topic should take stock of the European Union's and its Member States' bilateral and multilateral trade strategies and policies, comparing various regional and country-specific trade policy approaches and assessing the coherence and consistency of their objectives, strategies and instruments. Bilateral trade relations with key economic players such as the United States and China, but also developing countries from various continents should form part of such comparisons, alongside the Union's multilateral engagement in relevant international institutions, such as the World Trade Organization and its related negotiation processes and the G-20 summit as a major global economic forum. This analysis should in particular comprise detailed scrutiny of the coherence and consistency between the EU's trade policies and those of its Member States.

The results of these stock-taking should lay the foundation for an investigation of the coherence and consistency of trade policies with other EU external policies such as economic (e.g. security of energy supply, green growth), developmental (e.g. trade-related policy coherence for development), environmental (e.g. climate change mitigation, biodiversity), social and labour (e.g. international labour standards, cooperation on decent work) and human rights policies. Research should ultimately evaluate whether and how EU external trade policies can and do serve wider foreign policy objectives, identify the institutional, organisational and behavioural drivers of and obstacles to a coherent and effective strategic use of EU trade policy, and formulate propositions on how to combine trade and other external policies into a comprehensive European foreign policy. A comparative perspective, contrasting the EU's approach with the strategic use of trade policy by other major global players, could be envisaged.

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

Expected Impact:

Research under this topic will lead to a set of novel insights into the evolving EU and Member States' bi- and multilateral trade strategies and their inter-linkages with other external policies, their coherence and effectiveness. Placing trade at its centre, it will revisit and innovate the debate on coherence and consistency in EU foreign policy so as to provide an understanding of whether and how trade can be utilized strategically in the context of broader EU foreign policy agendas and in support of its foreign and economic policy objectives. Based on these policy-relevant insights, it will formulate recommendations on the institutional, organisational and behavioural adaptations needed to reinforce the EU's clout in global affairs via enhanced coherence of its foreign policy.

Cross-cutting Priorities:

Socio-economic science and humanities
International cooperation

[1]European Council (2014): Conclusions. Brussels. 26-27 June 2014.

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. See the information in the Online Manual.

  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.
  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
    Proposal templates are available after entering the submission tool below.
    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.

    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.

    Open access to research data
    The Open Research Data Pilot has been extended to cover all Horizon 2020 topics for which the submission is opened on 26 July 2016 or later. Projects funded under this topic will therefore by default provide open access to the research data they generate, except if they decide to opt-out under the conditions described in annex L of the Work Programme. Projects can opt-out at any stage, that is both before and after the grant signature.

    Note that the evaluation phase proposals will not be evaluated more favourably because they plan to open or share their data, and will not be penalised for opting out.

    Open research data sharing applies to the data needed to validate the results presented in scientific publications. Additionally, projects can choose to make other data available open access and need to describe their approach in a Data Management Plan.

    - Projects need to create a Data Management Plan (DMP), except if they opt-out of making their research data open access. A first version of the DMP must be provided as an early deliverable within six months of the project and should be updated during the project as appropriate. The Commission already provides guidance documents, including a template for DMPs.

    - Eligibility of costs: costs related to data management and data sharing are eligible for reimbursement during the project duration.

    The legal requirements for projects participating in this pilot are in the article 29.3 of the Model Grant Agreement.

  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
Additional documents

  • H2020-SC6-ENG-GLOBALLY-2016-2017- Flash Call Info (call results)_EN.pdf

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