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European Research Executive Agency
News article14 September 2022European Research Executive Agency2 min read

International Democracy Day 2022 #IDD22

The EU-funded research and innovation projects protecting and fostering democracy.

EU-funded research and the defence of democracy
© European Commission, 2023

Attacks on democratic institutions across the world are increasing. Coupled with this are the aftershocks of COVID-19, media disinformation, and the Russian occupation of Ukraine, which have made the defense of the pillars of democracy more important than ever; human rights, democratic governance, intellectual freedom, and equality.

EU-funded research and innovation projects are working to uphold, protect and expand the values of democracy via transparent funding, freethinking and international exchanges. Below, a selection of projects managed by the European Research Executive Agency (REA) that support these goals.

Reconnecting citizens with democracy

The RECONNECT (Reconciling Europe with its Citizens through Democracy and Rule of Law) project set out to identify measures which could be taken to address the rule of law and democratic backsliding in Member States as well as citizens’ concerns with the Union. The RECONNECT team created a massive open online course (MOOC), which reached over 2500 learners from 90 different countries. The group recommended that the EU set up an independent expert commission to observe the quality of public discourse, and called upon the European Commission to use its powers to translate shared values of democracy and the rule of law into practice.

Find out more about RECONNECT, it’s Youth Resources or reports on: EU Treaty Changes and the Charter of Fundamental Rights and New Narrative for a Citizen’s Europe

Young people’s voices at the centre of youth employment policy

The EU-funded UPLIFT (Urban PoLicy Innovation to address inequality with and for Future generaTions) project aims to address socio-economic challenges, that have only been heightened by the COVID-19 crisis, by putting young people at the centre of their research. UPLIFT plans to release a co-created policy tool – the Reflexive Policy Agenda – that will offer tangible policy solutions to address and reduce inequality and socio-economic divisions. UPLIFT will attend the 4th public participation and deliberative democracy festival: session 21 Oct 11 – 12

Find out more about UPLIFT

Fight for truth

Check out REA’s article on misinformation, you’ll learn about digital disinformation and how it remains a serious threat to the freedoms democracy grants EU citizens daily. You’ll also learn about how REA is committed to funding research projects designed to tackle online misinformation for a safer, more transparent EU.

Read here: The fight for truth: EU-funded research projects help identify and tackle online misinformation

More projects supporting democracy

Check out our Twitter thread for more projects that are supporting democracy by building back trust in public institutions. It includes the Peritia-Trust project, the TiGre project, and the EnTrust project.

Further information:

Horizon Europe’s Cluster 2: Culture, Creativity and Inclusive Society funds and manages projects that help foster democracy.

Keep up to date with these projects—as well as other innovative research—by following REA on Twitter and LinkedIn.


Publication date
14 September 2022 (Last updated on: 6 June 2023)
European Research Executive Agency