Early childhood education and care is key for preventing the transmission of disadvantage across generations, for addressing child poverty and social exclusion, for providing Europe with skilled citizens, able to contribute to growth, innovation, justice, democracy, in line with the Europe 2020.
Strategy for smart, sustainable and inclusive growth. However, European Union education and child care systems are challenged more and more by reductions in public expenditure and the increasing need to accommodate growing ethnic, cultural and linguistic diversity as well as socio-economic inequalities.
The EU research Framework Programmes for Research and Innovation (Horizon 2020 and FP7) have funded a substantial body of research on issues related to early childhood education and care. Their results support policy makers in developing more effective policies.
These education policies are also reinforced by EU funding programmes like Erasmus+, which support early childhood staff and teachers in introducing effective educational practices. A selection of projects and partnerships supported by these programmes is also presented in this publication.
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.
Beyond current events, migration has been a key topic in Europe for quite some time. On the one hand, it is argued that migrants’ host countries are enriched by cultural diversity and that migration contributes to the development of sending countries. Europe’s population decline also makes migration from third countries a possible option to increase the size of the working age population in the short-medium term. On the other hand, the increasing diversity of our societies triggers debates about the consequences of migration for social cohesion.
This publication presents an overview of past and ongoing research projects in the above mentioned areas. Some basic information is provided for each project; readers willing to explore further are referred to projects websites and other resources.
As identified by President Juncker in his July 2014 speech to the European Parliament, and as re-affirmed in his State of the Union speech in September 2015, the European Union needs a stronger and more assertive foreign policy. As the conflict in Ukraine, developments following the Arab Spring in the Middle East, and the current refugee crisis have made urgently clear, there is the need of a common foreign policy that can first and foremost contribute to stabilising the EU’s neighbourhood.
In the present publication is presented the various finalised and ongoing social sciences and humanities research projects covering this issue as well as presentations of future calls and topics under Horizon 2020 relevant for the European Neighbourhood Policy.
Tackling inequalities is a political imperative for the European Commission and President Juncker has placed it high in his political agenda. This was underlined by his commitment to create a Europe with a ‘Triple A Social Rating’ and to strengthen the European Social Model through a pillar of social rights. Addressing inequalities is not only a matter of solidarity but also of economic expediency. Scientific evidence shows that higher levels of inequality are not conducive to economic growth and can have negative implications for macroeconomic stability. Inequality creates «negative externalities» for growth since it can potentially lead to higher social conflict, increased rent-seeking behaviour leading to misallocation of resources, lower social mobility leading to underinvestment in human capital and fewer educational opportunities for low income groups. Growth in more unequal countries is also less effective in lowering poverty.
This publication presents the most relevant projects in the Social Sciences and Humanities who have taken up the task of addressing the wider issues of inequality, exclusion and social welfare. The projects are a source of ground breaking conceptual work, extensive quantitative comparisons and surveys, profound and in-depth qualitative forays into social challenges and importantly concrete, evidence-based policy recommendations.
The European Commission has an important role to play in putting employment in a sustainable path and narrowing gaps between Member States. Growth and jobs are at the core of the Commission’s agenda for the next 5 years, while President Juncker has made explicit his vision for achieving a «Social Triple A». The Investment Plan will mobilise investments of at least €315 billion in three years. Additionally, the Commission announced a package of measures to support Member States in getting people, especially the long-term unemployed, into work and promote skills.
Economic growth has a top priority on the agenda of European economic policy. Since the 2008 economic crisis, Europe’s growth performance has been sluggish and incapable of reaching the level of growth in the USA, which has recovered much faster from the economic crisis. The low growth and high unemployment in Europe has negative effects on the lives of European citizens and on European states. It has entailed increased inequality and raised new sustainability issues. However, at the same time, Europe’s growth pattern has experienced important qualitative changes as Europe has become more knowledge based and globalised, and solving the current challenges provides new growth opportunities, as social innovation shows.
Development aid is the most visible and most successful field of the European Union’s complex external actions. The European Union and its 28 Member States are, together, still the largest development donors worldwide and have played a leading role in the efforts to achieve the United Nations’ Millennium Development Goals. The EU has also proved to be a reliable and predictable actor during the negotiations of the new Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations that will shape global development strategies for the years to come.
This publication presents the most relevant projects on development funded under the Seventh Framework Programme for research and technological development (FP7).
In the context of the changing demographic structure of society, Europe's future prosperity and sustainability largely depend on its ability to take advantage of the potential of all generations. In times of economic and financial crisis in particular, Europe needs a strong young generation to be a driver of sustainable and inclusive growth that will ensure long-term development. Youth represents the backbone of future Europe and we need to prepare the generation that will lead and support the EU in 2040 and after.
Why do inequalities in Europe increase? What are the social and economic impacts of the 2008 crisis? Can Europe help stabilise its neighbour countries? Is political extremism and radicalisation threatening Europe? What are the worst illnesses of our democratic systems in Europe? These are some of the many crucial questions that the 'Socio-economic sciences and the humanities’ (SSH) in the Seventh Framework Programme (2007-2013) has tackled.
The SSH FP7 programme was in fact the biggest research programme for SSH in the world. It funded 250 projects for a total of 579 Million Euros. In the process, it brought together close to 3,000 institutional partners in the SSH research fields. These partners represent not only the 28 EU countries, but also an additional 65 countries worldwide on all continents.
Foresight is necessary to have a better European governance. It sheds light on the future trends, challenges, tensions and transitions that Europe could face in demographic, economic, social and technological developments. Foresight research encompasses both qualitative and quantitative methods.
Qualitative approaches are most often participatory and allow definition of long-term policy strategies. Modelling helps to quantify technoeconomic issues dealing with food supply, energy security and environmental targets. The foresight research promoted by the European Commission under the seventh framework programme (socio-economic sciences and humanities - SSH) includes scenarios, horizon scanning, forecasting, roadmapping, back-casting and technology assessment as well as new indicators, models, Delphi surveys and participatory workshops.
2010, EUR 24470 EN, ISBN 978-92-79-16227-5, doi: 10.2777+87149, 316 pages
Brussels, 2007, EUR 22848, ISBN 978-92-79-05738-0, 468 pages
Briefing papers for policy makers, Brussels, September 2003, 204 pages, ISBN 92-894-5770-8
Briefing papers from 120 projects funded by TSER Programme and Key Action "Improving the Socio-economic Knowledge Base", Brussels, 2008, EUR 21538-EN, ISBN 978-92-79-08003-6, DOI 10.2777/45062, 172 pages
Projects' synopses, Brussels, 2008, 59 pages
Brussels, 2003, 456 pages, ISBN 92-5213-7. Catalogue of 185 projects funded under the FP5 Key Action "Improving the Socio-economic Knowledge Base", 1999/2002
Briefing papers from 120 projects funded by TSER Programme and Key Action "Improving the Socio-economic Knowledge Base", Brussels, 2006, EUR n° 21538, ISBN 92-79-01299-1, 280 pages
357 pages, Brussels, 2000
2011, EUR 24690, ISBN 978-92-79-19031-5, doi: 10.2777/44819, 103 pages
This cluster synopsis provides an overview of 19 research projects dealing with 'European pluralism, religions, tolerance and values'. The projects address issues such as the balance between individual and societal needs, notions of respect for otherness, and the role of pluralist societies in responding to increasing levels of diversity.
EUR 24517, ISBN 978-92-79-13761-7, doi 10.2777/61483, 64 pages
Gender relations are at the core of most social, economic and political experiences. Accordingly, they have been the object of policy initiatives at national, European and international level, and became a dedicated area of research decades ago. Activities carried out in the 6th and (beginning of) 7th Framework Research Programme in the field of Socio-economic Sciences and Humanities pursued both gender-specific research as well as mainstreaming of gender issues in research related to different fields such as global governance, democracy, or conflict resolution. This is also consistent with the approach developed under the Science in Society thematic programme of the 7th Framework Research.
EUR 24480, ISBN 978-92-79-16363-0, doi 10.2777/11829, 52 pages
Forward looking activities (FLA) are used for the preparation and the formulation of EU policies. Foresight and Forecasting allow to elaborate long term visions and to assess economic, social and environmental impacts of policies.
EUR 23865, ISBN 978-92-79-11484-7, ISSN 1018-5593, DOI 10.2777/4165, 56 pages
High quality education and training systems are essential for European welfare and for developing a knowledge-based society. This publication aims to give an overview of the European research carried out in the 6th and 7th Framework Programmes.
These education and training projects deal with knowledge and skills (Lisbon Strategy), inclusion and cohesion (Social Agenda), culture, youth and migration (Citizenship), horizontal, international and support actions.
EUR 23605, ISBN 978-92-79-10156-4, ISSN 1018-5593, DOI 10.2777/24786, 108 pages
This publication highlights the major European research initiatives aimed at developing new, complete and harmonized economic and social databases and indicators in the fields of the knowledge economy, welfare, demography, sustainable development and impact assessment. This background is a pre-requisite for evidence-based European policies and for improving forecast, foresight, impact assessment and modelling in emerging policy issues related to globalisation, social trends and sustainability.
EUR 23723, ISBN 978-92-79-10653-8, ISSN 1018-5593, DOI 10.2777/36911, 80 pages
War and peace are as old as humankind, and violation to human dignity and integrity also - but their shapes, causes, impacts keep changing over time and in different contexts. This is surely also the present case - with factors such as globalisation, pace of technology, new geopolitical landscapes and new actors (private and public) contributing to change the way conflicts arise and are dealt with and human rights are perceived and acted upon.
EUR 23596, ISBN 978-92-79-09971-7, ISSN 1018-5593, DOI 10.2777/16864, 103 pages
Research on the very working of the European institutions, the web of actors involved in deciding about the European 'res publica' - and the involvement of citizens in this - only started at the European level in the late nineties, in the 5th Framework Research Programme and flourished since then.
EUR 23478, ISBN 978-92-79-05201-9, ISSN 1018-5593, DOI 10.2777/9015, 50 pages
The ageing of population, the determinants of the birth rate in Europe, the migrations both inside and outside the European Union, the gender and cultural interactions, the factors of social exclusion, the integration of homeless and immigrants, and the development of new indicators are key policy questions in Europe that researchers are answering in the Socio-economic Sciences and Humanities theme of the Seventh Framework Programme.
EUR 23477, ISBN 978-92-79-09525-2, ISSN 1018-5593, DOI 10.2777/90149, 42 pages
Sustainable development and territorial dynamics are at the crossroads of the social, economic and environmental dimensions. They are key issues at the EU-level as they directly refer to Common Agricultural Policy (CAP), cohesion policy and structural funds. They provide inputs for European "Impact Assessment". They allow to identify societal model changes and paradigm shifts in the fields of energy-environment-transport-land use.
EUR 23474, ISBN 978-92-79-09457-6, ISSN 1018-5593, DOI 10.2777/8473, 44 pages
This brochure describes EU projects mostly coming from the activity entitled "Growth, employment and competitiveness in a knowledge society" of the Socio-economic Sciences and Humanities Programme. The focus of this publication is on the European knowledge society (Lisbon Agenda) but it covers also issues related to policy evaluation and economic governance.
An ever closer union among the peoples of Europe?
Scientific research in social sciences and the humanities funded by the European Commission shows that socioeconomic inequalities have generally increased in the EU over the last 20 years.