Research and innovation for the future we want

New knowledge and breakthrough innovation will drive the green and digital transformations that are underway in our society. They will help us move faster towards a sustainable and prosperous future for people and planet, based on solidarity and respect for shared European values.

Research and innovation policy will play a key role in responding to the challenges brought about by the global COVID-19 pandemic. It will help deliver Europe's recovery plan, paving the way out of the current crisis on the path to a fairer future, based on economic growth that respects the planet.

Helping deliver the Commission's 6 goals

The Commission has set 6 broad political goals. Research and innovation will be a key driver in achieving each of them. 

Environment and climate

Climate change and environmental degradation are an existential threat to Europe and the world.

To overcome these challenges, Europe is embarking on a new growth strategy that will transform the Union into a modern, resource-efficient and competitive economy, and become the first climate-neutral continent.

European research and innovation plays a key role. It will help combat climate change, make our industries greener and achieve a sustainable recovery from the pandemic.

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Our digital future

The Commission is determined to make this Europe's digital decade. The EU’s digital strategy will empower people with a new generation of technologies.

Europe must strengthen its digital sovereignty and set standards, rather than following those of others – with a clear focus on data, technology, and infrastructure.

High-quality science, knowledge and innovation accelerate all aspects of the digital and industrial transformations and will bring us closer to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). 

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Jobs and economy

People and businesses in the EU can only thrive if the economy works for them.

The EU wants to create a more attractive investment environment, and growth that creates quality jobs, especially for young people and small businesses.

By developing knowledge, science-based strategies and innovative tools, research and innovation policy will put us on the road to achieving a strong and resilient social market economy that respects planetary boundaries.

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Protecting our citizens and our values

Protecting our citizens and defending European values is at the heart of the European Union.

Research and innovation will play a key role in tackling emerging threats and improving crisis preparedness.

Improving and protecting people's health at all ages is a top priority. The Commission is building a European Health Union, in which EU countries respond together to health crises, and patients receive the best possible care for diseases such as cancer.

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Europe in the world

It is vital to strengthen the EU as a global leader while ensuring the highest standards of climate, environmental and labour protections.

The EU will strengthen its voice in the world by championing multilateralism and a rules-based global order. A strong, fair and open approach to trade makes Europe an attractive place for business.

Priorities are strategic international cooperation, strengthening Europe's role in global and multilateral initiatives and a revamped association policy for Horizon Europe.

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Democracy and rights

We need to give Europeans a bigger say and protect our democracy from external interference such as disinformation and online hate messages.

When democracy is being challenged, science helps to develop better strategies that foster citizens’ involvement, social inclusion and equality in Europe.

To overcome the difficulties of political distrust, polarising discourses, lower electoral participation and populist narratives, we need the role of research and innovation to be strengthened.

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Strategy document

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