Renewed research & digital transition funds could benefit Community-Led Initiatives, says MEP

Changes in the Horizon Europe funding program, in particular those directed towards research and digital transition, could offer opportunities to Community-Led Initiatives, according to Portuguese MEP Marisa Matias.

MEP Matias spoke at the Meet & Greet of May 20th.  Participants quizzed her about funding opportunities offered for the involvement of CLIs and solidarity economy initiatives, as well as the promotion of decentralized and bottom-up approaches to policy implementation.

She highlighted the research and digital transition funds because their implementation happens through processes of a participatory character, such as the Knowledge Innovation Community framework of the European Institute of Innovation and Technology. It actively involves scientists, businesses and civil society agents in research, innovation and knowledge dissemination.

However she cautioned that the evaluation criteria of the fund continue to benefit high level research institutions that have been previously awarded EU funds.

She said there were opportunities for CLIs to mobilise participants within the New European Bauhaus in order to root it within local-level participatory politics. In has an urban bias and to date has not been widely promoted among the grassroots.

She warned that the Just Transition Fund, which along with the Horizon program, funds the European Green Deal, risks being very elitist due to the lack of a wide-reaching, comprehensive communication campaign.

MEP Matias is a rapporteur of the permanent European Parliament committee on Industry, Research and Energy.

The Horizon Europe program for research has a total budget of €95.5 billion for 2021-27 and at least 35% of the funds must be used on research directly related to climate change adaptation, post-carbon and sustainability transition.

In order to counter the impact of corporate lobbying MEP Matias urged participants to demand more accountability from their MEPs and to engage more in policy development.

For a longer report of the Meet & Greet session please see Meet & Greet MEP Marisa Matias 20 May 2021


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