The EU Institutions are currently designing the new version of the programme for Research and Innovation for the period 2021-2027 (Horizon Europe) with a budget of around €100 million.

garagErasmus considers that children and young people should be fully engaged both in the definition of the topics that are relevant for them and us all and in the research expected for this crucial period.

We should seize the potential of younger generations as agents for change. Without their involvement, Horizon Europe will not achieve the impact it seeks. That is why it is so disconcerting for us to see little or no mention of them in the document ‘Orientations towards the first Strategic Plan implementing the research and innovation framework programme Horizon Europe’.

Why Horizon Europe should take into account the role of children and youth?

Young people and children have a huge potential as change agents. If we invest in youth-centred R&I now, 2030 could be the start of an era of positive payback: healthy children and teenagers who are well-educated and skilled and have every chance to thrive and become constructive, engaged EU citizens contributing to society.

Furthermore, a Horizon Europe that works with and for Children and Youth could significantly contribute to the UN Sustainable Development Goals since Child related indicators can be found in at least 14 out of the 17 SDG’2.

A Horizon Europe programme taking into account the vision of child and youth will be also complementary to other initiatives and tools such as Erasmus+, European Youth Strategy, Education and Training 2020 and the Structural funds.

Which are the three crucial challenges where youth can play a fundamental role?

  • Youth Mobilisation against climate change. Youth across the world has the potential to catalyse change not only for themselves but for their communities and the rest of the world.
  • Health and Wellbeing: R&D actions with a focus on children and youth have the potential to deliver new knowledge and approaches to improve our future physical and mental health and wellbeing.
  • The Fourth Industrial Revolution. Youth should take part on digitalisation of our societies, jobs, education and democracies. Uptake in key enabling and digital technologies can only be achieved by involving them, making special efforts to involve girls in STEAM careers.

How can we change it?

The European Commission has just opened an online consultation: Horizon Europe Co-design 2021-2024 that can be filled as an organisation or as an individual and considering its importance we very much urge you to fill in the consultation. The more responses with our key messages the better to get our voice heard! Spread the word, invite to act!  

Instructions to participate in the consultation:

  • Please follow the link to the Horizon Europe online Consultation. Here you will find an introduction to the consultation
  • Please fill in the multiple choice sections A, B and C. In these sections are included a list of topics to be rated (no children or youth friendly!). They are the current list of topics in the  ‘orientations/strategic plan’ document that provides the draft of the Horizon Europe programme, which is the document we wish to influence. You need to rate which topics you feel are more important for the years to come.
  • Pour section D please tick the first 6 boxes and in the box provided for ‘general input’ please copy and paste the text below (between the two lines):

This initiative has been promoted by the University of Deusto et Le University of Utrecht with some members of the Eurochild Children Council, and endorsed by garagErasmus and EDIW-Education for an Interdependent World.

The consultation will be open until 8 September 2019.