News about Social Sciences and Humanities research

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.

11 August 2016

Read NOPOOR's recent newsletter, policy brief and watch the video focusing on international migration

The project NOPOOR analyses, among other issues, the impact of globalisation and international migration on poverty. Addressing questions such as: what is the influence of globalisation on the living conditions of the poor in less developed countries and how do different strategies of inte¬gration into world markets affect poverty at its different levels, the project seeks to understand the dynamic effects of migration and remittances on rural poverty and inequality, and to analyse to what extent migration supports local development.

10 August 2016

The importance of Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) for achieving the Sustainable Development Goals

Prof Shyama Ramani and Dr. Eduardo Urias from UNU-MERIT, partner in the EC funded project MNEmerge, spoke in a side event of the First Annual Multi-stakeholder Forum on Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) for the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) held at the United Nations Headquarters in New York, June 2016. In her opening speech, Prof. Ramani raised the need for a holistic “systems” approach in order to get even close to achieving the SDGs. Dr. Urias spoke about the role of science, technology and innovation in improving the acceptability, affordability and availability of drugs for pandemics.

4 July 2016

New Publication: Global Justice & Stability: Research and Innovation Projects

Social sciences and humanities research projects funded under the European Union’s Framework Programmes for Research and Innovation cover several aspects relevant for the EU’s external actions and contribute to the evidence base and sound understanding of the external environment that the EU operates in, in particular when it comes to understanding the cultural complexity of the EU’s partners.

1 July 2016

bEUCitizen on the meaning of the BREXIT vote for EU citizenship

The FP 7 large scale 4 year research project bEUCitizen - Barriers towards EU Citizenship - has held its penultimate annual conference in Oviedo, Spain from 29 June to 1 July. Conference proceedings were conducted in the context and immediate aftermath of the BREXIT referendum in the UK and many discussions centred on the meaning of the negative referendum for EU Citizenship and the future of the EU in general, especially as the project is coming to fruition now and engages in narrative and scenario development. The conference attracted wider interest and the regional newspaper La NUEVA ESPANIA run a story in its 30 June edition.

30 June 2016

What the Panama papers tell us about Tax Evasion

Did the Panama papers reveal anything new about tax evasion that we did not already know? How does tax evasion contribute to inequalities in Europe, and does it impact women more? The EC funded research project FairTax provides some answers to these questions.

29 June 2016

Counterintuitive results on EU enlargements

MAXCAP's latest policy brief reveals that EU institutions have coped well with the accession of a large number of new member states. Research also shows that EU accession conditionality and support have had a positive impact on the political systems and economies of candidate countries. By contrast, the EU needs to strengthen its political conditionality and revise its economic policies towards both new member states and non-candidate neighbouring countries.

13 June 2016

New Skills Agenda

On Friday 10 June, the European Commission presented the New Skills Agenda for Europe. The initiative is amongst the top priorities outlined in the Commission's Work Programme for 2016 and aims to pave the way for a joint action towards boosting human capital, employability and competitiveness. Open and Inclusive Societies actively contributed to the evidence base of the initiative.

6 June 2016

Bringing culture back to the heart of Europe

The RICHES FP7 research project presented its final policy recommendations concerning cultural heritage. Researchers, heritage professional and policy officials from 20 EU-funded research projects and from national authorities or the European Commission gathered for a fruitful exchange in Brussels on 23 May. The meeting report highlights the outcomes of the discussion. Two years before the announced 2018 European Year for Cultural Heritage, heritage professionals started the reflection on how to bring back culture and the diverse but shared European heritage into the heart of the European project and citizens' understanding of Europeanisation. Steps were also taken toward the creation of a sustainable, flexible exchange platform of various projects working with European cultural heritage.

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3 June 2016

Policy workshop on democracy, youth and social justice: challenges for Europe and the Middle East

22 June 2016, Brussels

The workshop will present the preliminary findings of three EC funded social sciences and humanities projects, which investigate various aspects of transition in countries of the Middle East and North Africa (MENA). The project Arabtrans focuses on the transformations of the region in general, while the projects Power2Youth and SAHWA address the role of the youth, including youth engagement, cultures, youth exclusion and prospects for youth-led changes in the region.

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26 May 2016

Do people with disabilities fully and effectively participate on an equal basis with others in society?

Against the background of the European Disability Strategy 2010-2020 and the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, DISCIT has explored three dimensions of citizenship:

  • Security: Enjoying social protection against major life risks (such as illness, poverty, violence etc.), diminishing major uncertainties or the need for individual risk-taking (for instance in relation to financial matters) and avoiding constant worries about the future
  • Autonomy: Enjoying opportunities to live independently, exercising the freedom to choose the life one has reasons to value and avoiding dependence on or interference from others
  • Influence: Participating in the discussions and decisions that set the framework for one’s own life as well as the decisions that aim to promote the common good and regulate social behaviour, given the interdependence of human action

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25 May 2016

Young EU migrants positively contribute to the British economy

Study shows that young people migrating to Britain from across the EU and elsewhere are well integrated into the British labour market and that 60 % of all migrants have higher employment rates, work longer, and are less likely to receive unemployment benefit when compared to their British counterparts.

19 May 2016

Conference Report - Understanding and Tackling the Migration Challenge: The Role of Research

Understanding and Tackling the Migration Challenge

The Conference Report of the International Conference, Understanding and Tackling the Migration Challenge: The Role of Research, organised by DG RTD and held in Brussels on the 4-5 February 2016 summarises the main discussions and conclusions of the conference, identifies immediate and long-term research needs and provides recommendations for policy making.

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4 May 2016

Follow ANTICORRP's roundtable discussion on anti-corruption policies - from the Greek crisis to the Panama papers

Corruption is recognised as a major policy problem across the world. The recent publication of the Panama Papers has highlighted the varying success of combating corruption. Four years into the project, researchers of the ANTICORRP project are discussing the success of the last 15 years of anti-corruption policies. What do the revelations in the Panama Papers tell us about the elites in the developed world? Is Greece successfully moving towards ethical universalism? Are there more examples like Greece than we would care to admit?

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4 May 2016

How the “sandwich generation” cope in caring both for children and elderly parents

This FamiliesAndSociety policy brief tackles the role of laws and policies in shaping gendered interdependencies in families; the way the “sandwich generation” (those likely to raise a child or a grandchild and care for parents at the same time) cares for older parents across countries; transfers in Europe from ageing parents to adult children and vice versa, and the extent to which the financial crisis has affected intergenerational patterns of family support across households.

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