FP7 tailored for sustainability

Socio-economic Sciences and Humanities (SSH) and Science in Society (SiS)

The research conducted under Theme 8 "Socio-Economic Sciences and the Humanities" (SSH) [pdf 196 Kb] focuses in particular on the interplay of the three pillars of sustainable development (economic, social and environmental), as well as on the socio-economic analysis of major EU challenges having a strong link with the EU's Sustainable Development Strategy [pdf 222 Kb], as for example major societal trends. It also allows for addressing the spatial dimension at urban, regional or rural levels.

Two topical examples are the development of the "Social Platform on cities and social cohesion" and the research and debate launched on the "transition towards the post-carbon society". SSH also contributes to impact assessment of policies and research, methodological development and research infrastructure through the construction of databases, indicators, and analytical models. The FP7 homepage for SSH research gives further details of research to be conducted, while these tables give an overview of sustainable-development related SSH research in FP7.

Finally the Theme’s objectives can be read in full in this Council Decision document
[pdf 287 Kb].

The foresight dimension is an important one under SSH research, as the comparative, cross-cutting and interdisciplinary analysis of economic and social development in Europe (and throughout the world) allows to better develop sustainable policies for the major long-term economic, social, environmental and geopolitical development of the EU. The link between the scientific and policy communities, as well as with the civil society and the broader public at large, are further reinforced through activities under the "Science in Society" theme (SiS) under FP7's "Capacities" programme.

Policy context for the SSH/SiS Theme:

The basis for the activity on Sustainable development is the EU Sustainable Development Strategy (EU SDS) [pdf 222 Kb] which is subject to a formal report released during the annual Spring Council.


Conference "Towards a post carbon society" in Brussels, Belgium, on 24 October 2007


"Social, Economic and Governance Aspects of Sustainable Development" [pdf 1,23 Mb],
Policy Review, Series n° 3 (Brussels, 2007 - 52 pages)

"Acting Together for Sustainable Development",
SSH Newsletter n° 8 (Brussels, 2nd quarter 2007)

"Assessing the Social and Environmental Impacts of European Research" [pdf 2,06 Mb],
(Brussels, Belgium, 2005, 98 pages)