Volkswagen Foundation Grants 10.6 Million Euros for Eight "Challenges for Europe" Projects

As nationalist forces increasingly strain Europe's cohesion, the "Challenges for Europe" funding initiative brings together partner research institutions from East and West. The variety of topics in this open call for proposals is great: It ranges from AI-assisted asylum policy and civil movements to strategies against social polarization.

Dr. Georg Schütte, Secretary General of the Volkswagen Foundation: "We at the Foundation are enthusiastic about the European idea and the benefits of cross-border research. Now that the freedom of science is coming under increasing pressure in certain EU member states, our funding initiative sets an example for mutual cooperation in service of the common good. All European citizens stand to benefit from the results of the projects we are funding."  

Eight projects were approved in the third round of calls:

Bayreuth: Prof. Dr. Jan-Otmar Hesse, Faculty of Cultural Studies, History Department, University of Bayreuth: "Historical Tensions between International Business and National Taxation: A Challenge for Europe Today" (together with partner institutions in Great Britain, Czech Republic, Netherlands); funding amount: 1.2 million euros

Berlin: Prof. Dr. Cathryn Costello, Centre for Fundamental Rights, Hertie School of Governance GmbH, Berlin: "Algorithmic Fairness for Asylum-Seekers and Refugees" (together with partner institutions in Great Britain, Italy, Denmark, Croatia); funding amount: 1.5 million euros

Berlin: Prof. Dr. Heike Klüver, Institute for Social Sciences, Humboldt University Berlin: "The Impact of COVID-19 on Public Support for the European Union" (with partners in Great Britain, the Netherlands, Spain, Poland); funding amount: 1.5 million euros

- Berlin: Prof. Dr. Magdalena Nowicka: German Center for Integration and Migration Research e.V., Berlin:  "Vision: Envisioning Convivial Europe" (together with partners in Austria and the Netherlands); funding amount: 1.0 million euros

Hamburg: Dr. Helge Schwiertz, Universität Hamburg: "Enacting Citizenship and Solidarity in Europe ‘From Below‘: Local Initiatives, Intersectional Strategies, and Transnational Networks" (together with partner institutions in Slovenia, Denmark, Italy, Switzerland); funding amount: 1.3 million euros

Jena: Prof. Dr. Joachim von Puttkamer, Institute of History/Imre Kertész Kolleg, Friedrich Schiller University Jena: "Towards Illiberal Constitutionalism in East Central Europe: Historical Analysis in Comparative und Transnational Perspectives" (together with partner institutions in the Czech Republic, Poland, Hungary); funding amount: 1.4 million euros

Köln: Prof. Dr. Angelika Nußberger, Institute for East European Law and Comparative Law, University of Cologne: "The Challenge of Populist Memory Politics for Europe: Towards Effective Responses to Militant Legislation on the Past" (together with partner institutions in Poland, Belgium, Netherlands); fund-ing amount: 1.2 million euros

Osnabrück: Prof. Dr. Maarten Van Zalk, Institute for Psychology, University of Osnabrück: "Inclusivity Norms to Counter Polarization in European Societies" (together with partner institutions in Poland, Spain, the Netherlands); funding amount: 1.5 million euros

More information on the funding initiative "Challenges for Europe" can be found here: With the conclusion of the third round, the thematic openness of this program also comes to an end. The 2021 call was thematically focused on "Challenges and Potentials for Europe: The Aging Continent".

Europa bei Nacht, aus dem Weltraum gesehen (Foto: mode_list -