European Commission adopts Communication on the implementation of the New European Bauhaus

[Translate to Englisch:] Neues Europäisches Bauhaus

On 15 September 2021, the European Commission adopted a Communication presenting the concept of the New European Bauhaus (NEB). The initiative is an ecological, economic and cultural project with a view to realising the European "Green Deal". It aims to combine design, sustainability, accessibility, affordability and investment to make Europe climate neutral by 2050.

The New European Bauhaus adds a cultural and creative dimension to the European Green Deal to show how sustainable innovation can enable tangible and positive experiences in our everyday lives. In her last State of the European Union address on 15 September, President Ursula von der Leyen called the NEB the "soul of the European Green Deal".

The European Bauhaus is first of all a reference to the "State Bauhaus" founded by Walter Gropius in Weimar in 1919, which developed into the international movement for architecture, art and design and has helped shape creative thinking and design in many areas for a hundred years. At the time, the Bauhaus helped shape the transition to an industrial society.

For the period 2021- 2022, 85 million euros are available for the initiative, a large part of which comes from the budgets of Horizon Europe, the LIFE programme for environment and climate policy and the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).

Today, the call for the first five Horizon Europe Lighthouse Projects is launched. The call is for five projects across the territory of the European Union and associated countries that will contribute to the implementation phase of the NEB. They should address the key principles of the NEB initiative (sustainability, integration and aesthetics), the use of architecture, design and culture as core resources for a sustainable society and the mission-oriented approach (impactful, measurable, targeted) in an innovative and exemplary way. They should address one or more relevant challenges representing the broad spectrum of the NEB initiative, such as:

  • Environmental and climate adaptation challenges, environmental and climate risks, prevention and resilience.
  • Economic and territorial changes related to the green transition.
  • Social challenges (poverty, segregation, social exclusion, etc.)
  • Challenges related to the use, maintenance and transformation of existing infrastructures and cultural heritage
  • Demographic challenges (ageing, migration, depopulation, changes in the real estate market due to tourism, etc.).

The submission deadline for this first call is 25 January 2022.
More information can be found here.

For projects of high quality that cannot be funded directly due to limited funds, an NEB Seal of Excellence - similar to the "Seal of Excellence" in other parts of the programme - should increase the chances of finding alternative funding.

In addition, EU member states are called upon to draw on funds from their national recovery plans to support measures and projects that are in line with the NEB's basic idea. This should lead to innovation being applied at the local level and demonstrate the benefits of a sustainable transformation of social coexistence.

In addition to the calls for proposals, the EU Commission announces networking events, such as the New European Bauhaus Festival planned for spring 2022 in Brussels. Furthermore, with the "NEB Lab", a "think-and-do tank" is to be established for the joint design, prototyping and testing of new instruments, solutions and policy recommendations. Here, all interested stakeholders from international authorities to local industry and civil society will work together to find new creative solutions.

The NEB Lab will focus on the design of innovative financing mechanisms and the analysis of legislation relevant to the implementation of NEB projects. The aim is to create an environment for innovation that is characterised by as few bureaucratic hurdles as possible and produces affordable results for all levels of society.

Further information

Press release of the European Commission on the adoption of the NEB Communication.
Overview of the implementation of the NEB, including the Communication and annexes (Report on the co-design phase, Mobilising EU programmes, The NEB policy ecosystem)
FAQ of the European Commission on the NEB


Karin Lukas-Eder

Karin Lukas-Eder
BayFOR Representative / EU Liaison Office in Brussels
(represented by Tim Uebelen until 31 August 2022)
Bavarian Research Alliance A.I.S.B.L.
Phone: +32 2 5134121

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