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CONTENT - Special Issue | January 2007

Dear Reader,

The Seventh Framework Programme for research and technological development (FP7) cleared its final hurdle on 18 December 2006 when it was adopted by the Council of the European Union.

The new programme started on 1 January 2007 and will run for seven years. The total budget is €50.521 billion.

FP7 will be implemented through four specific programmes:

  • Cooperation - collaborative research;
  • Ideas - the establishment of a European Research Council (ERC) to support frontier research;
  • People - human resources;
  • Capacities - research infrastructure and potential research capacity

Research in Socio-economic Sciences and Humanities (SSH) remains one of the research themes under the "Cooperation" Specific Programme and it will be supported by a €623 million budget.

It focuses on building a better understanding of the socio-economic, political and culture-related challenges facing Europe. The ambitious agendas set out by the Lisbon and Götheburg Summits can only be achieved through a process that reconciles distinct but complementary objectives: the need for economic development and progress while at the same time achieving sustainability and improving cohesion; the need to bring about change while at the same time reinforcing core values and respecting diversity in its various manifestations; the need to reinforce EU competitiveness while at the same time developing new types of international relations with our partners.

The Socio-economic Sciences and Humanities Theme will operate at the interface between these objectives. It will do this by supporting research and related activities aimed not only at providing the basis for policy development but also at improving insight and understanding of the key underlying trends and the factors driving them. This Theme should therefore not only help improve our knowledge in these fields but also our policies.

In addition, Socio-economic Sciences and Humanities will support the development of actions undertaken elsewhere within the "Cooperation" Specific Programme and, where appropriate, within the Specific Programmes "Ideas" and "Capacities". Complementarities and synergies are sought with other priorities of the "Cooperation" specific programme (in particular the "Food, Agriculture, Fisheries and Biotechnology", "Energy" and "Environment" priorities).

The Socio-economic Sciences and Humanities activities are implemented by means of the Work Programme which was provisionally adopted by the Commission on 21 December 2006. The first call for proposals from this programme was published on 22 December 2006.

It is very important that Europe’s research communities respond with energy and enthusiasm to the new Framework Programme and take advantage of the opportunities that it offers.

To inform potential applicants about funding possibilities and acquaint them with proposal submission procedures, the European Commission is organising a Proposer’s Day devoted to the calls in the areas of Socioeconomic Sciences and Humanities as well as in the area of Science in Society.

The whole day event takes place in Brussels on 22 January in the European Commission Charlemagne building (Address: Rue de la Loi 170).

To know more about this event, please visit:

For Socio-economic Sciences and Humanities in FP7:

I would like to encourage you to familiarise yourself with the content of the SSH Work Programme and take the opportunity offered by this new Seventh Framework Programme.

Looking forward to working with you.

Jean-Michel Baer
Science, Economy and Society
Directorate General for Research

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