What are EU Missions?

EU Missions are a new way to bring concrete solutions to some of our greatest challenges. They have ambitious goals and will deliver concrete results by 2030 . They will deliver impact by putting research and innovation into a new role, combined with new forms of governance and collaboration, as well as by engaging citizens.

Five Mission Boards gathering top experts were formed to help specify, design and implement Missions for Horizon Europe.

EU Mission: A Soil Deal for Europe

Life on Earth depends on healthy soils, but they are under threat all over the world

  • Soils are the basis of 95% of our food and other essential ecosystem services such as clean water, biodiversity and climate regulation. However, 60-70% of soils in the EU are considered to be “unhealthy”, making us more vulnerable to food insecurity and extreme weather events.
  • about 70% of agricultural land in the EU shows excess levels of nutrients with adverse effects on water quality and biodiversity
  • about 25% of land in Southern, Central  and Eastern Europe is at high or very high risk of desertification
  • the costs associated with soil degradation in the EU are estimated to exceed €50 billion per year

The mission will engage with people and create effective partnerships across sectors and territories to protect and restore soils in Europe and beyond. It will contribute to Green Deal targets relating to sustainable farming, climate resilience, biodiversity and zero-pollution.

EU Mission: Restore our Ocean and Waters

Man-made, climate-driven changes are putting our ocean and waters and consequently our societies at a serious risk.

The mission’s new, systemic approach will address the ocean and waters as one and play a key role in achieving climate neutrality and restoring nature.

The mission will help achieve the EU objectives of protecting  30% of the EUs sea area as well as restoring marine eco-systems and 25.000 km of free flowing rivers, prevent and eliminate pollution by reducing plastic litter at sea, nutrient losses and use of chemical pesticides by 50% and make the blue economy climate-neutral and circular with net-zero maritime emissions.

EU Mission: Adaptation to Climate Change

Climate adaptation is the process of adjustment to actual or expected climate and its effects. The mission will support this process by connecting citizens with science and public policy.

A mission in this area will help maximise the impact of the EU’s support to research and innovation and demonstrate its relevance for society and citizens. Its focus will be on solutions and preparedness for the impact of climate change to protect lives and assets. It will include behavioural changes and social aspects by addressing new communities beyond usual stakeholders, which help lead to a societal transformation.

EU Mission: Climate-Neutral and Smart Cities

Cities cover about 3% of the earth’s land, yet they produce more than 70% of its greenhouse gas
emissions. In Europe, it is estimated that by 2050 almost 85% of Europeans will be living in urban areas.
That is why the current climate emergency must be tackled in cities and by their citizens.

Since climate mitigation is heavily dependent on urban action, we need to support cities in accelerating their green and digital transformation. In particular, European cities can substantially contribute to the Green Deal target of reducing emissions by 55% by 2030 and, in more practical terms, to offer cleaner air, safer transport and less congestion and noise to their citizens.

The Cities Mission will involve local authorities, citizens, businesses, investors as well as regional and national authorities to

1. Deliver 100 climate-neutral and smart cities by 2030

2. Ensure that these cities act as experimentation and innovation hubs to enable all European cities to follow suit by 2050