With this message we would like to invite you to sign an Open Letter addressed to the European Commissioner for Research and Innovation, which highlights some of the vital insights that Socio-economic Sciences and Humanities (SSH) can contribute to addressing Europe’s and the world’s Grand Societal Challenges. If you agree, that a substantial and independent SSH-centered research programme should be included in all future European Framework Programmes, kindly sign the Open Letter online: http://www.eash.eu/openletter2011/.
Kindly circulate this invitation to sign the letter also across your institutions, as well as through your networks, projects and subject associations.
First results of this initiative to strengthen the SSH-component in “Horizon 2020” were presented to Commissioner Geoghegan-Quinn on 10 November 2011. During a ½ day symposium on the role of SSH in “Horizon 2020” in London, the Commissioner expressed her appreciation for the mobilisation of the community towards strengthening the SSH domain in the new programme and acknowledged the need for such a strong SSH component ( http://www.allea.org/Content/ALLEA/SSH/Speech-Commissioner-09-11-11.pdf ).
A proposal has now been submitted in this sense. In view of legislative decisions to be taken soon on the next 80-Billion-worth EU Framework Programme Horizon 2020 (2014-2020), the letter stresses the necessity for a varied and strong research programme in the Socio-economic Sciences and Humanities (SSH). It would be tantamount to undermining the EU strategy to develop innovative, inclusive and sustainable societies, were there insufficient funding in Horizon 2020 for research areas such as cultural change, demography, education, the economy and globalisation, identity politics and social cohesion, poverty relief and global governance and many others.
Following this successful earlier exchanges, we shall now interact with lawmakers in the European Parliament and national political authorities. For we must bear in mind that in the past the SSH-related Framework Programme component has been, time and again, in danger of being eliminated at the end of negotiations between national governments, the European Parliament and the Commission; also, the size of the budget accessible for SSH-researchers is as yet far from being secured. It would therefore be useful to collect further support from a large cross-section of the SSH- and SSH-related research communities. After 20 November we did a first analysis of the signatures received and we shall eventually publicise the results obtained that far. We noticed that different research communities are represented in very different proportions.
The Open Letter initiative has grown out of deliberations among a number of European umbrella organisations in the area of SSH, and seeks to bring to the attention of the European Commission and national governments the concerns of the largest research community in Europe. For more information see: http://www.eash.eu/openletter2011/
Thank you in advance for supporting this initiative. Do not hesitate to contact us if you have any questions: firstname.lastname@example.org
On behalf of the Inter-agency Task Group on SSH in Europe (ALLEA – ALL European Academies; ESF – European Science Foundation: Standing Committees for the Humanities and Social Sciences; ECHIC – European Consortium of Humanities Institutes and Centres; Net4Society – Network of SSH National Contact Points), with endorsements from the SSH ERA-Nets and others
Dr. Ruediger Klein
European Federation of National Academies of Sciences and Humanities (ALLEA)
P.O.Box 19121, 1010GC Amsterdam
c/o KNAW, Kloveniersburgwal 29, 1010JV Amsterdam