In view of the upcoming European Council meeting on 17-18 July 2020, 15 European university associations representing around 800 universities are urging EU leaders to invest more strongly in research, innovation and education, in order to achieve long-term sustainable recovery and strategic resilience for Europe. The 15 organisations, which include associations such as EUA, LERU, CESAER, the Guild or the Coimbra Group, have issued a common statement to this effect,
The signatories of the joint statement stress that it is crucial to upgrade funding to Horizon Europe as a whole, and particularly enhance support to fundamental, curiosity-driven research, via the Marie Skłodowska-Curie actions and the European Research Council. This means that research investment should be increased within the next Multiannual Financial Framework, in addition to reinforcements proposed under the recovery plan Next Generation EU. They insist that this investment must go beyond figures proposed earlier this year, given the new magnitude of Europe’s needs.
The associations stress that the EU must also meet its ambitions with adequate resources for Erasmus+, a programme that is expected to support EU goals with regard to the green and digital transitions, the reinforcement of mobility, enhanced social inclusion, as well as the European Universities Initiative.
The statement is issued against the background of the budget proposal put forward by European Council President Charles Michel on 10 July which provides a limited budget for both Horizon Europe and Erasmus+. The associations stress that an agreement on the budget must be reached before the end of the year if the new programmes are to start in January 2021.
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