Can research in SSH inspire policies? Yes if you find ways to bridge the gap between researchers and policy makers and citizens. That is what the Directorate "Science, Economy and Society" attempts to do, fostering the link with EU policies through policy briefs, policy reviews, synopses of projects in various policy fields, as well as other useful reports or data bases coming from the projects funded under the FP.
We also hold bilateral meetings with the policy Directorate Generals of the European Commission in order to incorporate their concerns into our research agendas but also make them direct their interest to new research results from our projects. We have now established links with several of these Directorate Generals in areas like economic policy, employment policy, security policy, external relations, development policy and enterprise policy.
We regularly organise meetings of experts, workshops or larger conferences on challenging socio-economic issues that trigger the interest of policymakers for immediate policy measures or longer-term actions.
In particular, we collaborate with the rotating Presidencies of the EU in order to raise our research results to policy levels. Under the French Presidency of the second half of 2008, we thus set up two conferences in Toulouse on "Knowledge fro Growth" and in Paris on "SSH facing climate change challenges".
The move towards urbanisation is progressing and more than half of the world population is today living in cities. By the 2030s, five of the world's eight billion people will live in urban areas.
How can this continuous urbanisation trend be reconciled with the "Rio+ 20" Earth Summit hopes and the European Union's commitment towards a smart, sustainable and inclusive growth by 2020?
This publication addresses the issues of urbanisation focusing on the concentration of needs and services, the migration and settlement patterns in Europe, the new forms of poverty and exclusion, urban welfare and social innovation, and green urban planning.
A greater understanding of the dynamics of urban societies will allow instability and risks within cities in humanitarian, economic and security terms to be better managed.