HORIZON EUROPE FRAMEWORK PROGRAMME┋The climate imperative and its impact on democratic governance



Expected Outcome

Projects should contribute to all of the following expected outcomes:

  • Enhance the ability of democratic governance to address complex and long-term challenges, through better understanding of the socio-political dimension of the climate crisis (including climate movements) and its impact on democratic governance, participation and social cohesion; the impact of the green transition on public governance and democratic practices, their legitimacy and responsiveness; and the increasing role of non-majoritarian institutions in decision-making.
  • Enhance the capacity of democratic governance to mobilise and engage citizens through participation, and better-informed decision-making and communication to citizens on climate related policies, based on learnings from the management of the COVID-19 pandemic, disaster and end-time scenarios analysis, and other historic examples for such political and societal imperatives.
  • Improve policymaking approaches at all levels of government through recommendations to address the climate imperative in a democratic manner supported by citizens, balancing it with other policy imperatives, including the role of education in fostering climate literacy.
  • Encourage international cooperation through better understanding of the supranational challenges of the climate crisis, and of the consequences of climate crisis scenarios on demand for democratic structures, international politics and citizen engagement.


Climate movements have highlighted the question of whether urgent climate goals can be met while respecting democratic processes, maintaining trust, legitimacy and efficiency of democratic institutions. A large segment of society, on the other hand, perceives the changes on their personal lifestyle needed to mitigate or adapt to climate change as too burdensome, or focuses on other priorities, e.g. policy imperatives linked to financial or security issues. Policies adopted under the climate transition will not be pain-free, increasing the difficulty for democratic governments seeking re-election to legislate effectively to meet the demands of the climate crisis. Social inequalities increase the risk that the less advantaged segments of society will be more negatively impacted by the climate crisis and policies made for the climate transition. The common global goals for the climate transition also highlight the deficiencies of governance on supranational issues.

At the same time, the climate imperative also opens up avenues for innovative civic participation in an existential policy area.

Thus, proposals under this topic should help reinvigorate democratic governance by suggesting pathways for improved effectiveness of rule-of-law based institutions and policies, notably pathways for open government practices that enable active civic participation throughout the policymaking process. They should help strengthen social and economic resilience and sustainability through a better understanding of the relationship between democratic governance and the climate imperative.

Proposals should use the lessons of history as well as analysis of the current situation and best practices to make policy recommendations for the future. In the light of existing tensions between democratic governance and climate imperatives, proposals should examine how societies have dealt with bottom-up participation in the past, whether more inclusive and politically democratic societies are better able to develop prevention and mitigation policies, and what new structures we need to tackle the climate imperative, to effectively address its complexity, urgency, and long-term impacts. Proposals are encouraged to consider social innovation activities to stimulate social change, new social practices, social ownership or market uptake. Gender and intersectional aspects (e.g. ethnicity, socioeconomic background) should be considered, particularly regarding citizen engagement, civic participation, and climate literacy.

Proposals should seek synergies and complementarity with other clusters, partnerships and missions of the Horizon Europe Programme, notably the Clean Energy Transition Partnerships, as well as with other EU programmes and financing instruments to maximise its impact in the long term. Proposals within this call can be the needed link to get the project outcomes out of partnerships to the policymakers who can directly implement them for maximum effective results. Clustering and cooperation with other selected projects under this topic and other relevant projects are strongly encouraged.

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