The research in social sciences and the humanities should help analyse the paths towards sustainable development in Europe but also in regions where the EU can help develop new models of sustainable economy and society. While the period of economic growth in the early 21st century has not led to a substantial reduction in poverty rates, the financial, economic and social crisis may have severe repercussions on the weakest and poorest people in European
societies and abroad. Multidisciplinary research is expected in this activity, involving any relevant scientific discipline, including sustainable technologies and informatics infrastructures.
Research will focus on how food crises should be tackled in a more effective manner and how the least developed countries can develop nationally or regionally solutions which ensure less food dependence. The role and responsibilities of the EU in adapting its policies in order to satisfy world food needs should be a major outcome of this research.
Within the EU, the financial and economic crisis is having particularly severe effects in Central and Eastern Europe and has brought strongly to the fore issues of cohesion in the EU. Research is needed on the economic and social integration of these countries and their subregions in the EU. More generally, poverty in the EU remains a challenge for all European countries. Given the disappointing results of public policies in the last decades, research
should investigate which prospects there are for fighting poverty more efficiently.
List of funded projects in Activity 8.2 Combining economic, social and environmental objectives in a European perspective - Paths towards sustainable development (as of March 2012).