What are missions and mission areas?

EU missions are commitments to solve major societal challenges like fighting cancer, adapting to climate change, protecting our oceans, living in greener cities and ensuring soil health and food.

As integral part of the Horizon Europe framework programme beginning in 2021, they are a new way to deliver on these commitments.

Each mission will operate as a portfolio of actions – such as research projects, policy measures or even legislative initiatives - to achieve a measurable goal that could not be achieved through individual actions. The missions will contribute to the goals of the European Green Deal, Europe’s Beating Cancer Plan as well as the Sustainable Development Goals. 

When will missions begin? 

A preparatory phase began in November 2020, and will last a maximum of 12 months.
Plans with detailed actions, investment strategy and performance indicators will be developed during this phase.

At the end of it, missions will be assessed against a set of robust criteria. Once approved, missions will get fully up and running. Europeans will continue to be engaged throughout their implementation.

What this mission area deals with

The importance of climate adaptation

Climate adaptation is the process of adjustment to actual or expected climate and its effects. The mission will support this process by connecting citizens with science and public policy.

Why this mission area was chosen

A mission in this area will help maximise the impact of the EU’s support to research and innovation and demonstrate its relevance for society and citizens.

Its focus will be on solutions and preparedness for the impact of climate change to protect lives and assets. It will include behavioural changes and social aspects by addressing new communities beyond usual stakeholders, which help lead to a societal transformation.

How specific missions are identified

This mission area has a mission board tasked with identifying one or more specific missions for implementation under Horizon Europe.  The mission board consists of 15 experts, including the chair, and is supported by a mission secretariat and an assembly.

Possible mission proposed by the mission board

In June 2020, the mission board submitted its interim report, Accelerating the Transition to a Climate Prepared and Resilient Europe, which proposed concrete targets and timelines for the mission. This report was the base for on-site and online engagement with citizens and stakeholders. The final recommendations of the mission board was handed over to the European Commission at the European Research and Innovation Days (22-24 September 2020).

The proposed mission:

A Climate Resilient Europe - Prepare Europe for climate disruptions and accelerate the transformation to a climate resilient and just Europe by 2030
Targets by 2030: prepare Europe to deal with climate disruptions, accelerate the transition to a healthy and prosperous future within safe planetary boundaries and scale up solutions for resilience that will trigger transformations in society.

Citizen engagement will continue and will help define the concrete steps to implement the mission.

More information

Contact

RTD-HORIZON-EUROPE-MISSION-ADAPTATION@ec.europa.eu

Latest

Timeline

  • End of June 2020

    The Mission Board produces a draft report proposing concrete targets and timelines

  • 22-24 September 2020

    The final recommendations of the Mission Board are handed over to the European Commission at the European Research & Innovation Days

  • November 2020

    The mission enters preparatory phase

  • 1st and 2nd quarter of 2021

    Preparation of mission implementation plans, followed by Commission decision on full implementation phase

  • 3rd and 4th quarter of 2021

    Launch of the missions in full implementation phase; updated Horizon Europe Work Programme for EU missions

Documents

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