Cluster 2: Culture, Creativity and Inclusive Society

The endeavors within the Cluster 2 “Culture, Creativity, and Inclusive Society” focus on tackling issues pertaining to democratic governance, preserving cultural heritage, fostering the growth of the creative economy, and navigating societal and economic transformations. This cluster is committed to addressing challenges associated with democratic processes, safeguarding cultural legacy, promoting the creative sector’s economic viability, and navigating the complex shifts in both society and the economy.

Project proposals under this Cluster are sought for the three destinations listed below.

Destination “Innovative Research on Democracy and Governance”. This destination seeks to enhance democratic governance and foster trust in democratic institutions by providing comprehensive knowledge, data, and scientifically sound recommendations. The overarching goal is to fortify fundamental rights, empowering active and inclusive citizenship, thereby contributing to the long-term improvement of accountability, transparency, effectiveness, and trust in the rule of law-based institutions and policies. The initiatives will focus on formulating recommendations to safeguard liberties, uphold the rule of law, and foster democracy against multifaceted threats. Activities will strive to promote increased political participation, social dialogue, social inclusion, civic engagement, and gender equality. Additionally, the destination will leverage expertise in social sciences and humanities to analyse and respond to the implications of Ukraine’s invasion by Russia, considering the evolving geopolitical landscape of European neighborhood and enlargement policies.

Destination “Innovative Research on the European Cultural Heritage and the Cultural and Creative Industries”. This destination aims to advance increased accessibility and interaction with cultural heritage, emphasizing the need for its protection, enhancement and restoration. Research and innovation endeavors will play a pivotal role in fostering sustainable growth and job creation within the cultural and creative industries. Moreover, these efforts will actively contribute to the integration of these industries into the European industrial policy, recognising them as catalysts for innovation and competitiveness. Notably, two calls under this destination will facilitate the establishment of a collaborative digital space for European cultural heritage, further reinforcing the commitment to preserving and promoting cultural richness1.

Destination “Innovative Research on Social and Economic Transformations”. The initiatives proposed aim to address disparities in social, economic, and political realms, fostering human capital development and aligning with a holistic European approach for inclusive growth. This includes recognising and addressing the effects of technological progress and economic interdependence, with a focus on enhancing social resilience and achieving the goals outlined in the Action Plan of the European Pillar of Social Rights. The destination will further bolster EU migration and mobility policies, concurrently advocating for integration and equitable transitions in both the digital and green transitions.

For more information on the thematic focus of Culture, Creativity and Inclusive Society, including how Cluster 2 contributes to the EU’s objectives and priorities to strengthen democratic governance and citizen participation, preserve and promote cultural heritage, and respond to multifaceted social, economic, technological and cultural transformations, please refer to the relevant Work Programme for 2023-2024.

Within this Cluster, special attention should be paid to the synergy aspects.

  1. Project proposers should actively seek strategic partnerships and explore opportunities for further financial support to enhance synergies. In this context, candidates are encouraged to concentrate on EU Synergies calls, enabling projects that have been granted funding to leverage additional support from a range of EU research and innovation programs, as well as national or regional initiatives such as ERDF, ESF+, JTF, EMFF, EAFRD, and InvestEU, along with private funds..
  2. Efforts will be made to identify and capitalise on complementary aspects and synergies with other pertinent EU programmes, such as: Creative Europe; Erasmus+; Global Europe, the EU’s Neighbourhood, Development and International Cooperation Instrument; Digital Europe Programme (DEP); Reform Support Programme, Justice, Rights and Values Fund; Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund (AMIF).

1 Refer to the “A European Collaborative Cloud for Cultural Heritage – 2023” call within this section of the Work Programme under this Cluster. The Commission plans to formulate a subsequent call that encompasses initiatives geared towards advancing the digital collaborative space for European cultural heritage. This proposed addition will serve as an amendment to this specific section of the Work Programme. ^