Five Horizon Europe Missions already launched

On September 2021 the European Commission initiated five new missions under the Horizon Europe Programme. They are a new and innovative form of cooperation to improve the quality of life of people in Europe and beyond. The aim of the EU missions is to face the major challenges in the field of health, climate and environment and to achieve ambitious and inspiring goals in these areas.

Missions are a new cooperation tool which is to meet some of the most important challenges of our times. The results of their activities will be achieved by giving research and innovation a new role in combination with new forms of management and cooperation and new ways of engaging citizens, especially young people.

Mobilising scientists and innovators in the European Research Area will play a key role in improving the quality of life of both today's EU population and future generations. In order to develop innovative solutions for ecological and digital transformation in line with the goals of sustainable development and promotion of resilience, prosperity, competitiveness and economic and social well-being in Europe broad transnational cooperation on an unprecedented scale will be required.

Horizon Europe Programme will provide initial funding for five missions in the amount of 1.9 billion EUR by 2023.

The aim of the above-mentioned five missions is to find solutions to the most important global challenges by 2030:

  1. Adaptation to climate change: support at least 150 European regions and communities to become climate resilient by 2030
  2. Fight cancer: cooperation with European cancer fighting plan to improve the lives of more than 3 million people by 2030 through prevention, treatment and solutions to live longer and better
  3. Restore our ocean and waters by 2030
  4. 100 Climate-neutral and smart cities by 2030
  5. Soil Deal for Europe: 100 living labs and lighthouses to lead the transition towards healthy soils by 2030

EU missions are focused directly on citizens, involving them in design, implementation and monitoring. Member States, regions and a wide range of public and private stakeholders will be involved to help deliver lasting results for all EU citizens.

Three IETU experts have already been involved in the preparation of the Horizon Europe Missions. Dr. hab. Marta Pogrzeba, Professor of IETU is a member of the Mission Board for Soil Health and Food.

The condition of soils in Europe is not satisfactory. This refers to agricultural land, where food is produced, as well as to soils in cities and industrial areas. According to the European Environment Agency, as much as 75% of agricultural soils in the European Union contain excessive amounts of nutrients, which results in the loss of biodiversity, whereas pesticides are used on almost 93% of the arable land in EU. In Europe, we have around 2.8 million potentially contaminated sites, but only 24% of them are inventoried and only 65,500 are rehabilitated.

It is estimated that by 2025 the number of contaminated sites in Europe will increase by 50%. The costs related to soil degradation in the EU currently exceed € 50 billion per year. Therefore, measures aimed at soil protection as well as its proper management are vitally important. The objectives of the soil mission by 2030 are ambitious in terms of both agriculture (increasing the number of organic farms by 25%) and restoring soil reuse in cities (increasing the reclaimed soil by 50%). But we need to act now, because each year of delay may bring irreversible effects, as soil is a non-renewable resource - emphasises Dr. M. Pogrzeba, Prof. of IETU.

In the work of the national sub-groups Dr. Justyna Gorgoń, Mission: Climate-Neutral and Smart Cities, and Dr. Joanna Piasecka-Rodak, Mission: Restore Our Oceans and Waters took part. Under the mission on oceans and water resources a network of lighthouses on the high seas and in river basins will be developed, and the network of marine protected areas will be extended.

Surface waters are areas which are very sensitive to human activity and climate change. The current degree of their degradation and contamination with waste and chemicals is the major problem and challenge for the European Union. Work in the mission aimed at healthy oceans, seas, coastal and inland waters was focused on preparing the Horizon Europe Programme in a way that would ensure the achievement of ambitious environmental goals in the future. The activities of the mission focused not only on the identification of problems, but also on raising the environmental awareness of the society. Numerous on-line meetings and lectures were organised, and various materials were published in the press and on the Internet, says Dr. Joanna Piasecka-Rodak.

Also on September 29 this year the European Commission adopted a Communication from the Commission on EU Missions, giving them the green light after approving their specific profile, which is planned for early summer.

More informatio:

Horizon Europe Missions:

Communication from the Commission on the EU Missions:

Implementation plans for the EU Missions:


Wanda Jarosz
Source: European Commission - Press release file:///C:/Users/jar.w/AppData/Local/Temp/Komisja_inicjuje_misje_UE__aby_stawi__czo_a_najwa_niejszym_wyzwaniom.pdf


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