HORIZON EUROPE FRAMEWORK PROGRAMME┋New approaches for combatting corruption and other undue influences on political decision-making


Call website

Expected Outcome

Projects should contribute to all of the following expected outcomes:

  • Increased knowledge and data on political corruption and other undue influences[1] on policymaking and policy implementation, and on how these impact the understanding of democracy and rule of law and the adherence of citizens to those values.
  • Advance knowledge on the use of technologies (including AI, blockchain, encrypted data analysis...) to prevent and detect corruption and other undue political influence in the EU and its neighbourhood.
  • Reinforce national and EU legislative tools for preventing and fighting corruption, so as to bridge the gap between a fertile corruption measurement landscape and the different levels of commitment shown by governments to the prevention of and fight against corruption.


Beyond its financial and economic costs, corruption and undue influence – whether real or perceived – erodes the social contract underpinning democracies, and hence the system’s credibility and legitimacy. By undermining democracy and exacerbating inequalities, corruption and policy/state/ elite capture in general decrease the legitimacy of the democratic system and pave the way for citizen’s distrust and populist narratives. Despite abundant strategies, toolkits, approaches and indicators produced over the last two decades to win the fight against corruption, it can be argued that the practical results of anticorruption efforts have been disappointing. The problem appears resistant to solution and new / digitally enabled forms of undue influence seem to emerge.

Corruption and anticorruption are about human behaviour and require therefore multifaceted and multidisciplinary research. Proposals should aim at bringing together the contributions from behavioural and political economists, psychologists and anthropologists, historians, lawyers, political scientists, communication scholars, etc. Their research findings should contribute to a deeper understanding of corruption and further the evaluation of the quality of democracy and good governance. Proposals under this topic should aim at reproducing the level of ambition, both in terms of consortium composition and the breath, range and duration of their research plan, of the FP7 collaborative project ANTICORRP.[2]

On the conceptual level, research under this topic should build a solid and encompassing understanding of (i) the cross-border character of new expressions of political corruption involving a constellation of actors cutting across the political, administrative, financial and commercial spheres; (ii) integrity and its relationship to corruption and the requirements of effective models of integrity management, both in the public and private sectors; (iii) the role played by the data analytics sector in political communication to malignly influence and disrupt politics in foreign jurisdictions; (vi) and the role played by investigative journalism in strengthening accountability by revealing transnational corruption and illicit financial flows. Studying, especially through comparative and historical research, rhetorical, linguistic and cultural aspects of corruption will help to develop a stronger theoretical ground for the critical analysis of social representations of corruption. The role of education and media, in particular social media, and their impact on how corruption is socially constructed, perceived and dealt with in the public sphere, deserves special attention.

On the practical side, international cooperation is encouraged, in particular with countries from the EU Neighbourhood and accessing countries. Proposals should look at tools to strengthen public-private partnerships for fighting corruption, including inter-institutional and inter-sectorial collaborations among different stakeholders (such as small/large enterprises mentorship), or transparent guidelines for the inclusion of interest groups in political processes. Understanding the potential use of technologies (e.g. artificial intelligence, encrypted data analysis, blockchain, building information modelling…) to detect, prevent and combat corruption and other undue influences should receive particular attention, without overlooking their potential misuse. The analysis of open government experiences and dissemination of practices of civic tracking systems, as opportunities of transparency and prevention of corruption, may also contribute to the assessment of the hopes and challenges of digital anti-corruption efforts. While abundant corruption indexes help to understand different angles of this problem, most of them are perception based and/or focus on particular issues. Overall overviews of corruption within the EU are difficult and proposals should aim to overcome this shortfall.

Proposals are encouraged to seek synergies and collaboration whenever possible with projects funded under the topic HORIZON-CL3-2022-FCT-01-05: Effective fight against corruption.

Clustering and cooperation with other selected projects under this topic and other relevant projects are strongly encouraged.

[1] According to the OECD, undue influence is the act of attempting to influence the design, implementation, execution and evaluation of public policies and regulations administered by public officials, whether by providing covert, deceptive or misleading evidence or data, by manipulating public opinion or by using other practices intended to manipulate the decisions of public officials.

[2] Anticorruption policies revisited. Global trends and European responses to the challenge of corruption: https://cordis.europa.eu/project/id/290529

Date de candidature
Humanités : Anthropologie & Ethnologie, Histoire, Philosophie, théologie et religion
Sciences sociales : Droit, Economie, Géographie, Gestion et administration publique, Psychologie et sciences cognitives, Relations internationales, Science politique, Sciences de l'information et de la communication, Sociologie