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New European Bauhaus under Horizon Europe

The European Commission proposed New European Bauhaus (NEB) to become a sixth mission of the Horizon Europe programme, next to the five other missions covering adaptation to climate change, cancer, climate neutral and smart cities, and the restoration of our ocean and waters, and soils.

The NEB initiative started as an interdisciplinary initiative in 2020 with an aim to create “beautiful, sustainable, and inclusive places, products and ways of living” by supporting bottom-up projects and initiatives contributing to this goal. Currently, the NEB already has buy-in from nine EU programmes through dedicated or contributing calls (Horizon Europe, European Regional Development Fund, LIFE, Digital Europe, Single Market Programme, COSME, Erasmus+, Creative Europe, European Solidarity Corps) and covers a range of various policy areas.

With a focus on research and innovation solutions, the proposed NEB mission would aim to “transform neighbourhoods across Europe for the better, making them beautiful, sustainable and inclusive”. These neighbourhoods should act as ‘living labs’ for innovation.

The European Commission has recently published the Communication on EU Missions stating they are on track to meet their 2030 ambitions. But in the consultation process, some of the stakeholders expressed their reservations regarding the suitability of the missions approach resulting in limited responses to the missions calls due to their prescribed nature and high ambitions. Others questioned the added value and purpose of the NEB and asked whether it should be linked to Horizon Europe or rather become a standalone programme.

It remains to be seen how and if adding the NEB mission to Horizon Europe would address those concerns and contribute to higher interest in the programme’s mission approach.

The Commission’s proposal must be endorsed by member states and the community, and during its preparatory phase, the NEB mission will be further defined. Also, a clarification on how it corresponds to the climate neutral and smart cities mission would be needed to ensure synergies between these two missions.

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