Five new EU missions: a new and innovative way to tackle big challenges in health, climate and the environment


The European Commission (EC) has recently launched five new EU missions as part of the Horizon Europe research and innovation programme for 2021-2027. These missions aim to address challenges in health, climate and the environment. Recent crises in these fields in Europe and the rest of the world are a wake-up call for all actors to join forces and find new and innovative solutions.

The EC will mobilise €1.89bn from Horizon Europe initial funding to missions for the 2021-2023 period, with the first trance in place by the end of 2021. The EC will then make an assessment of the five missions and future financial needs by the end of 2023.

A recent communication of the EC covers the implementation of the 5 missions with 2030 targets, highlighting the objectives of each mission, timeline and budget:  

  • Adaptation to Climate Change (implementation plan available here): support at least 150 European regions and communities to become climate resilient by 2030.
  • Cancer (implementation plan available here): improving the lives of more than 3 million people by 2030 through prevention, cure and for those affected by cancer including their families, to live longer and better.
  • Restore our Ocean and Waters by 2030 (implementation plan available here): protecting 30% of European sea areas and restoring marine eco-systems + 25.000km of free flowing rivers, preventing and eliminating pollution by 50% and making the blue economy climate-neutral and circular with net-zero maritime emissions.
  • 100 Climate-neutral and smart cities by 2030 (implementation plan available here)
  • A Soil Deal for Europe (implementation plan available here): 100 living labs and lighthouses to lead the transition towards healthy soils by 2030.

The EU missions were introduced by the EC as a new way of working across policy areas, fields of expertise and science, directly engaging with companies, local communities and the innovation community.

For more information on the Missions, dedicated budget and calls under Horizon Europe, and on how to get involved, click here.