News about Social Sciences and Humanities research

14 May 2019

Horizons for Heritage Research - Towards a Cluster on Cultural Heritage

Brussels, 20 March 2019

The REACH Social Platform for participatory approaches and social innovation in culture, with the support of the European Commission Directorate General for Research and Innovation (DG RTD), and Coventry University (REACH Coordinator) organised a stakeholder symposium on the future of heritage research. This happened one year after the launch of the "European Year of Cultural Heritage" and the high-level conference “Innovation & Cultural Heritage” organized by the European Commission. The symposium brought together a broad range of stakeholders: representatives of Horizon2020 funded research projects and infrastructures, heritage and memory organizations and European institutions, as well as of civil society networks, platforms and organizations.

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26 April 2019

New policy review on democracy research published

Policy review: Past, present and future of democracy. Author Prof. Wolfgang Merkel, WZB

The EU’s framework programmes for research and innovation have devoted significant investments towards the study of democracy. This review presents findings from framework programme projects and in general takes stock of European research on the subject matter. It provides a mapping of results, evidence and recommendations, and assesses the needs and pertinent foci for future European research. It aims to build on areas of research where there is already a good deal of knowledge. At the same time, it focuses on those areas where there are gaps in our knowledge about the workings of and present threats to democracy.

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28 February 2019

The new SSH integration report is out

Monitoring the development of SSH as a cross cutting issue is a commitment made under the Horizon 2020 Programme. This fourth Monitoring Report on Integration of SSH across Horizon 2020 shows that on many aspects progress has been made since the start of the programme. However, it also illustrates that more efforts are needed to get the results strived for in this policy area.

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31 October 2018

Delivering open and personalised mobile access to public services for senior citizens

Local governments are more and more using open data to provide public services to their citizens. However, they lack tools on how to involve citizens, especially older citizens, in the design, planning, implementation and evaluation of these initiatives. The EU-funded Mobile Age project, together with older persons, local government and social care service providers, has developed and tested a co-creation methodology and tools in four pilot sites across Europe to improve social inclusion, access to healthcare, and mobility for seniors.

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23 October 2018

New publication: Solidarity in Europe - Alive and Active

This policy paper is based on the Horizon 2020 projects SOLIDUS and TransSOL. They form complementary investigations into solidarity, yielding theoretical and empirical insights into the nature, conditions and extent of individual and collective solidarities. SOLIDUS focused upon empowerment, social justice and citizenship with a view to understanding successful solidarity practices. TransSOL explored European paths to transnational solidarity at times of crisis through the lens of migration/asylum, unemployment and disability.

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29 August 2018

Measuring Youth Well-being: How a Pan-European Longitudinal Survey Can Improve Policy

This volume presents key findings from the EU funded Measuring Youth Well-being (MYWeB) project which assessed the feasibility of a European Longitudinal Study for Children and Young People (ELSCYP). It draws on the original empirical data from a panel of experts in the field of child well-being as well as field experiences from a number of European countries. MYWeB explored strategies and methodological challenges for involving children and young people in well-being research in order to fight poverty and social exclusion. It does so by evaluating different options to measure the well-being of children and young people across Europe using a child centric approach.

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23 May 2018

The 3rd report on SSH integration in H2020 has been released

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The report is based on projects financed under SSH flagged topics in 2016 which represent the most recent projects for which we have reliable data. Overall results are encouraging and fairly similar to previous findings. However, more efforts are needed to make sure that relevant expertise is included in interdisciplinary projects to address common challenges and create real impact.

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9 April 2018

Innovation and Cultural Heritage Conference,
20 March 2018


Let's make Europe world leader in heritage-led innovation, launched Commissioners at the Innovation and Cultural Heritage High-level Conference. 300 people assisted to ground-breaking policy debates with Commissioner Moedas, Commissioner Gabriel and Commissioner Navracsics in Brussels Royal Museum of Arts and History.

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10 January 2018

Saving our landscapes saves our planet

Results of four years of complex transdisciplinary research into agricultural landscapes, cultural heritage and sustainable development are explained by cartoons of the MEMOLA project.

For further results please check out the project website

18 December 2017

Do you share, access or use cultural heritage materials online?

The Commission has launched a public consultation on Europeana, the European online platform, to hear the opinions from citizens and organisations with a personal or professional interest in digital culture available online. We wish to know how citizens, professionals and organisations use the platform that gives access to over 53 million items including image, text, sound, video and 3D material from the collections of over 3,700 libraries, archives, museums, galleries and audio-visual collections across Europe.

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27 September 2017

Re-framing the EU’s commitment to human rights

EU-funded researchers reframe the EU’s commitment to human rights to better address today’s multiple global challenges.

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30 May 2017

New Insights for Improved Policies against Poverty

NOPOOR final conference in Brussels, 6-7 June 2017

Researchers from 15 countries present successes and failures of existing poverty alleviation programmes and discuss the multidimensional aspects of poverty. Presentations and debates bring insights to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and to the EU’s agenda of development cooperation policy.

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15 May 2017

How to improve international and interdisciplinary cooperation in the Social Sciences and the Humanities

European Social Sciences and Humanities are still world-wide scientific references. They occupy a position that is close to that of the USA in terms of articles produced. However, a strong core-periphery structure persists between different country groups. European funding programs for research, especially for collaborative research have high impact on international scientific collaboration within Europe and beyond, especially with regard to peripheral and semi-peripheral countries. The Interco-SSH FP7 collaborative research project published its policy recommendations on how to improve international and interdisciplinary cooperation in the Social Sciences and the Humanities.

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8 May 2017

European Pillar of Social Rights

On April 26, the Commission presented the European Pillar of Social Rights (EPSR). The EPSR sets out a number of key principles and rights to support fair and well-functioning labour markets and welfare systems. The initiative is designed as a compass for a process of convergence towards better working and living conditions among participating Member States. It is primarily conceived for the euro area but open to all EU Member States. The 20 principles and rights enshrined in the Pillar are structured around three categories: equal opportunities and access to the labour market, fair working conditions and social protection and inclusion. They place the focus on how to deliver on the promise in the Treaties of a highly competitive social market economy, aiming at full employment and social progress.

Implementing the principles and rights of the EPSR will require various legislative and non-legislative initiatives. As a first step, the Communication presenting the EPSR was accompanied by initiatives related to work-life balance, information for workers, access to social protection and working time. A social scoreboard was also established to track trends and performances across EU countries in 12 areas and to assess progress towards a social "triple A" for the EU as a whole. This analysis will feed into the European Semester of economic policy coordination.

The European research community played a key role in the consultation process leading to the preparation of the EPSR. Directorate-General for Research and Innovation organised a one day seminar on 'Work, Welfare and Inequalities in Europe – The Research Perspective' (10 October 2016 in Brussels) to present scientific evidence in the fields of welfare policies, labour markets and employment, social investment and poverty. At the same time, the evidence base generated by projects funded under the EC's Framework Programmes informs the recent policy and implementation monitoring initiatives.

21 April 2017

Register for the event on Mobility and Inclusion in Multilingual Europe

The EU funded research project MIME answers the Commission's request for analysis and practical orientations regarding the handling of individual and societal multilingualism in a time of change. The project is in particular focused on the public policy aspects of multilingualism, and provides useful conceptual tools, helping decision makers to weigh the pros and cons of various strategies for handling the multilingual challenge.

6 February 2017

Conference Report - A Great Start in Life: The best possible education in early years

The Great Start in Life conference brought researchers, policymakers, early childhood education and care and primary school staff together to discuss how to create the conditions for the best possible education in the early years. The final report of the conference summarises the presentations and discussions from the two-day event.

23 January 2017

Seminar Report – Work, Welfare and Inequalities in Europe: The Research Perspective

DG Research and Innovation 'Open and Inclusive Societies' organised the one day seminar 'Work, Welfare and Inequalities in Europe – The Research Perspective' (October 10, 2016 Brussels) to present scientific evidence in relation to the present and future of welfare systems, labour markets and the content of work, reversing inequalities, social investment and poverty etc. The seminar brought leading researchers in the fields of social and employment policies together with EU policy makers, international experts and other relevant stakeholders.

Findings were discussed from a policy perspective and contributed to the public dialogue concerning the European Pillar of Social Rights (EPSR) launched by the European Commission in March 2016. During the seminar a Policy Review entitled "Fighting poverty and exclusion through social investment: A European research perspective" was also presented. The Review presents evidence from twenty 7th Framework Programme research projects on issues pertaining to poverty and exclusion; social investment and protection; new risks and vulnerabilities of different social groups; tax and benefit policies for promoting inclusion and overall policy learning concerning what works, where and why. This report presents the main findings and discussions.

8 December 2016

What does every crisis have in common?

The recession, an ash cloud, floods, a food scandal or terrorist attacks; each event is different, but is it possible that they behave in a similar way? Social scientists are identifying characteristics of crises to help us prevent them from happening and respond when they occur.

28 November 2016

Conference: Europe as a global actor

On the 5th of December, DG RTD, Unit Open and Inclusive Societies will host a conference "Europe as a Global Actor". During this conference the representatives of projects selected under the Societal Challenge 6 of Horizon 2020 in the 2015 call will present their understanding of a number of research problems they investigate - such as Europe as a global and regional actor, European contributions to global justice or responsible trade as well as cultural and science diplomacy.

25 November 2016

MeCoDEM develops open-source tool for big data analysis

MeCoDEM – Media Conflict and Democratisation – has developed the tool Mecodify to make the analysis and visualisation of big data easy. It emerged out of MeCoDEM’s work on ICTs and democratisation conflicts as a tool to allow MeCoDEM’s social science researchers to extract, analyse and visualise tweets in relation to particular conflicts in Egypt, Serbia, South Africa and Kenya.

11 November 2016


The EU funded project bEUCitizen debates Brexit and its consequences for European Citizens.

25 October 2016

Register for the workshop on Social Media, Conflict and Democracy

On 18 November the EC funded projects MeCoDEM, INFOCORE and VOXpol will have a workshop in Brussels on the role of social media in conflicts with among others the Egyptian activist and blogger, Wael Abbas. The workshop will discuss questions such as how social media play a role in assisting democratic change during times of conflict in today’s digitally connected world and/or how social media are used to escalate conflicts and aid the formation of extremist networks? Have the utopian visions - often presented in the media during the so-called “Arab Spring” - of how social media can trigger political change now transformed into dystopian visions of social media used for surveillance, anti-democratic propaganda and repression?

11 October 2016

Fighting poverty and exclusion through social investment

A European research perspective : a policy review

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The fight against poverty and social exclusion is at the heart of the Europe 2020 strategy for smart, sustainable and inclusive growth. With more than 120 million people in the EU at risk of poverty or social exclusion, EU leaders have pledged to bring at least 20 million people out of poverty and social exclusion by 2020. In the aftermath of the crisis welfare states are called to address multi-level social risks while securing their financial sustainability.


27 September 2016

Addressing Terrorism: European Research in social sciences and the humanities in support to policies for inclusion and security

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European societies, national governments and institutions of the European Union are currently facing an important challenge. Terrorist attacks hit France, Denmark and Belgium between 2014 and 2016, after several other deadly terrorist attacks in the United Kingdom, Spain, Belgium, the Netherlands and France in previous years. This specific terrorist phenomenon is new. A newly published Policy Review takes stock of the available scientific knowledge on this new form of terrorism and suggest what more should be done to increase this knowledge.



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Complexity science comes to the aid of the humanities

imageEU-funded researchers are applying analytical methods originally devised for problems in statistical physics to understand a range of complex systems from transport networks and electricity grids to quantum computers and even classical mythology.

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