The European Union is currently faced with manifold challenges within and beyond its borders. Internally, growing inequality undermines its potential to create prosperity and provide stability. Six million people lost their job during the crisis, more than 120 million people are at risk of poverty and fourteen million youth (15-29 years) are not in education, employment or training. Beyond the need to find new sources of growth and employment, the need to deliver quality public services and renew the legitimacy of public policy-making across Europe put additional strain on governments. At the same time, the inclusion of fairness in the objectives of the European Commission means that social dialogue should be enhanced in order to meet the social demands of inclusive growth. The innovation divide is evident, private investment in research and innovation is falling short of the target, while there is a growing brain drain mostly from regions strongly hit by the crisis and the austerity that followed.
Horizon 2020, Work Programme 2016 – 2017