EUA open letter to MEPs and Juncker to express EFSI concerns
On 12 February 2015, the European University Association (EUA) sent an open letter to MEPs asking them not to support the European Commission's plans to divert € 2.7 billion from Horizon 2020 to fund the European Fund for Strategic Investment (EFSI), as part of the so-called Juncker Plan.
The EUA, which represents 850 European higher education institutions, also wrote an open letter to Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, urging the Commission to reconsider the intended funding sources for the EFSI.
While the Commission claims that its proposal for the EFSI, which was presented in January 2015, is designed to tackle Europe’s investment gap, the EUA is concerned that with the cuts provided for the Horizon 2020 budget, this initiative comes at the expense of Europe’s research sector which the association sees as being the backbone of Europe’s future competitiveness.
Lesley Wilson, Secretary General of EUA said: “The proposed cuts to research are a worrying U-turn in the Commission’s approach. In recent years the Commission was a key advocate for further research investment, and there was strong support for collaborative research activities that demonstrated their economic impact. EUA is convinced that if the proposal goes ahead the EU will put itself at risk of losing ground against competitors that are investing heavily in research. [...] The Commission’s plan follows an unacceptable trend of cuts to research and sends the wrong signal to national and regional policy makers."
The EUA also calls for scientific oversight to be included in the selection of EFSI projects.
For further information: EUA Press reslease