Behavioural, Cultural and Social issues in EU Green Deal policy documents

Project Deliverable Report

This report focuses on the most relevant EU policy documents for the SHARED GREEN DEAL research agenda. It analyses 22 Communications, Impact Assessments (IAs) and Horizon Europe Mission policy documents from the European Commission, which share relevance with SHARED GREEN DEAL through their alignment with European Green Deal policy areas.

The social experiment topics of SHARED GREEN DEAL are: ‘Clean energy’, ‘Circular economy’, ‘Efficient renovations’, ‘Sustainable mobility’, ‘Sustainable food’, and ‘Preserving biodiversity’. Specifically, the report analyses the Behavioural, Social and Cultural (BSC) contents of these policy documents, which it details in turn; in addition to presenting an indicative comparative overview of how different policy document types (i.e. Communications vs. IAs vs. Horizon Europe Mission documents) explicitly account for BSC considerations in the Green Deal.

In presenting the findings, the report puts a BSC spotlight on these Green Deal policy documents in ways that may not have been done before. In doing so, it supports not only the SHARED GREEN DEAL partners, but also associated Horizon 2020 Green Deal projects, as well as various associated policy stakeholders too. Ultimately, the analysis of key EU policy documents helps to shine a light on the extent to which BSC issues are currently being addressed in EU Green Deal policy-making.

This report sets out the policy context for the SHARED GREEN DEAL project by providing an overview of the most relevant EU policy documents for the project’s research agenda. In particular, it assesses the extent to which these documents: present insights into behavioural, social, and cultural (BSC) issues, drawn from Social Sciences and Humanities (SSH) disciplines, in identifying drivers of and/or barriers to successful policy implementation; and propose interventions explicitly targeting BSC change to support successful policy implementation.

The report concludes that at least some behavioural, social, and cultural issues are being considered in most areas of the EU policy-making process in relation to the Green Deal, albeit in a still rather patch-work and constrained way. It is perhaps unsurprising that most of the identified examples of BSC engagement can be related to the EC’s mandate for governance of the EU Single Market.

However, as the need for deeper forms of socio-economic transformation becomes ever more pressing in order to realise the ultimate objectives of the Green Deal, the writers of this report (Urios, J., Casert, C., Gore, T., Foulds, C., Afghani, N.,) suggest that EU policy-making will need to go further in engaging with a broader suite of BSC issues and drawing on a wider range of SSH disciplines to do so.

Read the full report to learn more.

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Publication date:

Languages: English

Authors: Institute for European Environmental Policy (IEEP), Anglia Ruskin University, Fraunhofer ISI

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For further details please contact co-leads Professor Chris Foulds ( and Professor Rosie Robison (

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This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation program under grant agreement No 101036640. The sole responsibility for the content of this website lies with the SHARED GREEN DEAL HAS project and does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the European Union.