Building the trust that underpins Europe’s economies and societies

Rory Scarrott from MaREI @ University College Cork gives a personal and thought provoking account on how to build trust on large-scale European projects.

When I first started working in the Horizon Europe-funded DOORS project in January 2022, I will admit I was a little apprehensive. It was the scale of the initiative. Cooperation across the breadth of the European continent, with a range of stakeholders and cultures I had yet to encounter. All focused on building an ambitious technological infrastructure, an education and capacity building framework, and the core of a knowledge-driven, sustainable, blue growth ecosystem in the Black Sea. In contrast, I was new to the team, fresh out of PhD-land, with only two languages (and another two that work with frantic hand movements), and I found myself cast into this community of leading technology experts, change-makers, and creators from an array of wonderful countries and cultures. Each carried their own experience, and perspectives into the community, of which I am a small part. .

It is one of the fascinating things about European Framework programmes such as Horizon Europe. Project team members get to work, create, and address challenges with a range of perspectives and approaches shaped by diverse cultures, languages and practices. All of these activities focus on changing the status quo, enhancing Europe and associated countries for their citizens. For example, here, DOORS focuses on the Black Sea, taking the new regional Blue Growth aspirations and actually implementing the changes they require.

A very dear colleague of mine once wrote “Change transforms the basis for developing mutual understanding on which trust hinges”. This is how I see DOORS, a community across Europe, of partnerships between Black Sea change makers and European technology and research leaders. All of us are focused on changing the Black Sea’s status quo, energising the regional economy sustainably for its citizens and communities. Effectively, this change sets the scene for us to work together, and develop trust and partnership within the consortium, between regional stakeholders and the next generation of European and Black Sea innovators. This is the first newsletter of the DOORS project, ahead lies two more years of working, connecting and innovating. All the while we’ll be building the trust and respect that European business and economies are founded upon. I certainly look forward to the adventure.

This article was written for the DOORS Black Sea newsletter. Please share it widely and consider subscribing to receive future news and updates regarding our work in the Black Sea.

Feature Project


The EU-funded DOORS project is an exciting venture to implement the SRIA in close cooperation with stakeholders and other projects in the region.

Find out More