Horizon Europe (2021 - 2027)

Representative democracy in flux

Last update: Today Last update: 31 Jan, 2023


Location: EU 27 EU 27
Contracting Authority Type: Development Institution
Status: Awarded
Budget: EUR 9,000,000
Award ceiling: N/A
Award floor: N/A
Sector: Training, Democratization
Eligible applicants: Unrestricted / Unspecified, Individuals
Eligible nationalities: Afghanistan, Albania, Algeria, A ... See more Afghanistan, Albania, Algeria, American Samoa, Angola, Anguilla, Argentina, Armenia, Aruba, Austria, Azerbaijan, Azores, Bangladesh, Belarus, Belgium, Belize, Benin, Bermuda, Bhutan, Bolivia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Botswana, British Virgin Islands, Bulgaria, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cambodia, Cameroon, Canary Islands, Cape Verde, Caribbean Netherlands, Cayman Islands, Central African Republic, Chad, Chile, Colombia, Comoros, Congo, Costa Rica, Cote d'Ivoire, Croatia, Cuba, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Dem. Rep. Congo, Denmark, Djibouti, Dominica, Commonwealth of, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, Eritrea, Estonia, Eswatini (Swaziland), Ethiopia, Falkland Islands, Faroe Islands, Fiji, Finland, France, French Polynesia, French Southern Territory, Gabon, Gambia, Georgia, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Greenland, Grenada, Guatemala, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Hungary, Iceland, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Jamaica, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kiribati, Kosovo, Kyrgyzstan, Laos, Latvia, Lebanon, Lesotho, Liberia, Libya, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Madagascar, Malawi, Malaysia, Maldives, Mali, Malta, Marshall Islands, Mauritania, Mauritius, Micronesia, Moldova, Mongolia, Montenegro, Montserrat, Morocco, Mozambique, Myanmar, Namibia, Nepal, Netherlands, New Caledonia, Nicaragua, Niger, Nigeria, North Korea, North Macedonia, Norway, Pakistan, Palau, Palestine / West Bank & Gaza, Panama, Papua New Guinea, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Pitcairn, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Rwanda, Saint Helena, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Samoa, Sao Tome and Principe, Senegal, Serbia, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Slovakia, Slovenia, Solomon Islands, Somalia, South Africa, South Sudan, Spain, Sri Lanka, St. Pierre and Miquelon, Sudan, Suriname, Sweden, Switzerland, Syria, Tajikistan, Tanzania, Thailand, Timor-Leste, Togo, Tonga, Tunisia, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Turks and Caicos, Tuvalu, Uganda, Ukraine, Uruguay, Uzbekistan, Vanuatu, Venezuela, Vietnam, Wallis and Futuna, Yemen, Zambia, Zimbabwe
Date posted: 18 Jun, 2021

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Call Updates

Apr 22, 2022 11:05:13 AM

The Call HORIZON-CL2-2022-DEMOCRACY-01 (Reshaping democracies) has closed on the 20th April 2022.

241 proposals have been submitted.

The breakdown per topic is:

  • HORIZON-CL2-2022-DEMOCRACY-01-08: 12 proposals

Evaluation results are expected to be communicated in July 2022.

Jan 20, 2022 12:00:10 AM

The submission session is now available for: HORIZON-CL2-2022-DEMOCRACY-01-08(HORIZON-RIA)

Representative democracy in flux


Programme: Horizon Europe Framework Programme (HORIZON)
Call: Reshaping democracies (HORIZON-CL2-2022-DEMOCRACY-01)
Type of action: HORIZON-RIA HORIZON Research and Innovation Actions
Type of MGA: HORIZON Action Grant Budget-Based [HORIZON-AG]
Deadline model: single-stage
Planned opening date: 20 January 2022
Deadline date: 20 April 2022 17:00:00 Brussels time

Topic description


Projects should contribute to both of the following expected outcomes:

  • Comprehensive evidence on the mid- to long-term impacts of current political and social developments on European representative democracies.
  • Develop policy recommendations, toolkits, narratives and methodologies for enhancing trust in political institutions, and boosting transparency, representativeness, and inclusiveness of representative systems at local, regional, national and EU level.


The last decades have witnessed significant changes in the electoral behaviour of citizens. Turnout has been steadily declining in most countries while European research and statistical data show that there is more electoral volatility, together with an increase in radicalisation of voter attitudes and greater polarisation. From 1994 to 2017 (according to Eurobarometer data[1]) trust in parliaments, political parties and governments declined significantly. On the other hand, paradoxically, non-elected institutions (e.g. military, police, and judiciary) enjoyed high and relatively stable levels of trust, higher than the democratically elected ones. As societies have become more connected and individualistic, with an ever fast-paced development of digital technologies, new political forces, discourses and voting preferences have emerged. While many of the identities and certainties of the past are eroding, new cleavages have marked the political landscape of representative democracies.

This apparent state of flux brings multiple challenges but also opportunities for the future of our democracies.

Proposals are expected to address some of the following: to create a robust and comprehensive knowledge base on long-term developments in terms of trust in, and trustworthiness of, the political institutions of representative democracy – parties, executives, parliaments, judiciary, social partners, institutionalised social dialogue, etc. – and their legitimacy. Proposals should relate changing voting attitudes at the individual level to wider political and cultural discourses, where feelings and emotions can compete and overrule facts and reasons, and to the emergence of new social movements and parties. They should analyse key drivers of such changes, taking into consideration socio-economic variables (including transformation in the world of work), as well as cultural variables linked to identity, generational differences, gender, ethnic diversity, security, migration and the material forms of discourse such as education and media. The political cleavages that shape current political phenomena and trace their connection to historical legacies as well as their foreseeable negative and positive long-term impacts on democratic systems should be analysed.

Based on the evidence collected and analysed, proposals should develop new approaches to understand the evolution of political parties in the context of intense digitalisation (including of the public space and public institutions) and individualism. They should examine the barriers and opportunities to re-invigorating and enhancing representative democratic systems. Strategies to address the demands and needs of citizens expressed in other, non-electoral forms of political participation, with a view to active engagement and inclusion, including the use of digital tools for citizen engagement should be provided. Research should develop a comprehensive and transparent toolbox of possible policy interventions including but not limited to recommendations, toolkits and methodologies for enhancing trust in political institutions, boosting transparency, representativeness and inclusiveness of representative systems. In all cases, comparative approaches at EU level, taking also into consideration the changing demographic composition of populations, should be developed.

The actions should strive to include citizens and civil society at all stages of the research activities, by means of consultation, structured dialogue, action research, social experimentation and/or other active methodologies that the proponents consider as most effective.

Call Updates

Apr 22, 2022 11:05:13 AM

The Call HORIZON-CL2-2022-DEMOCRACY-01 (Reshaping democracies) has closed on the 20th April 2022.

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