On January 30, 2024, a panel discussion on the EU Missions: rethinking governance and policymaking was held in Brussels. The event was organized by the independent think-tank Friends of Europe in collaboration with the consortium of the Horizon Europe SSH – CENTRE project (Social Sciences and Humanities for Climate, Energy and Transport Research Excellence).
The Missions represent a new concept within the Horizon Europe programme which is supposed to provide tangible solutions to the cross-cutting societal challenges of today with the aim of supporting the transformation of Europe into a greener, healthier, more inclusive and resilient continent by advocating for a significant restructuring of governance and policy-making processes.
Insight into politics is one of the main activities of the SSH-CENTRE project, which brings together 13 partners from across Europe. The project directly engages stakeholders – researchers, policymakers, representatives of businesses, civil society, and citizens – in strengthening social innovations, promoting SSH-STEM collaboration (social sciences and humanities with science, technology, engineering, and mathematics), and in transdisciplinary policy consultancy to accelerate the EU’s transition to carbon neutrality.
The success of the Missions requires a fundamental change in the functioning of governments and institutions and a redefinition of the relationship between businesses and governments. Whether such a change has been observed after three years of the programme was the subject of the panel discussion. Additionally, there was a dialogue on defining key monitoring indicators, increasing synergies with other programmes at EU level, exploring further prospects of the Missions, and directing investments into research and innovation.
The SSH-CENTRE project was represented in the panel discussion by Julia Leventon from CzechGlobe, who, among other things, deals with changes in decision-making and management processes towards sustainability and is also working on creating interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary research to achieve sustainability goals. The other three panelists were representatives from DG Clima, DG Environment and the European Parliament.
The recording of the panel discussion can be viewed here.