Joint statement of science organisations calls for new momentum for ERA
Several European organisations representing universities and research-performing and research-funding institutions have issued a joint statement congratulating the European institutions on the occasion of the 60th anniversary of the Treaty of Rome, and contributing to the debate on the future of Europe. The Conference of European Schools for Advanced Engineering Education and Research (CESAER), the European University Association (EUA), the League of European Research Universities (LERU), and Science Europe (an association of European Research Funding Organisations and Research Performing Organisations) issued a joint statement on 23 March 2017 expressing their "gratitude and esteem for the unprecedented period of peace and prosperity brought about by the European integration" and their great interest in the ongoing debate on the future of Europe. Their statement is intended as a contribution to this debate.
The joint statement acknowledges past achievements of European integration and expresses concern about current threats to knowledge societies worldwide, calling on EU institutions to "provide new momentum, dynamism and equity to knowledge societies in Europe and beyond". The paper highlights the indispensability of the European science system for Europe and its importance for a better future Europe. It therefore calls for further strengthening European science, education, research and innovation.
In addition, the statement calls for immediate action on the part of the EU "to safeguard the respect for the rule of law and human rights, freedom from political interference, tolerance of divergent opinions, democratic citizenship, evidence-based policy making, free circulation of knowledge and of its bearers, academic freedom and institutional autonomy". In order to better integrate the advancement of knowlede in Europe with links to the world, the EU as well as national policy makers and science organisations should "1/ develop a stronger brand for science in Europe, 2/ increase efforts to achieve European science integration, 3/ set more ambitious priorities for the European Higher Education Area (EHEA) and the European Research Area (ERA), 4/ open EHEA and ERA up beyond the EU and Europe, and, finally, 5/ invest more in education, research and innovation at all levels".
The undersigned organisations declare that they continue to fully support the ERA goals and offer their continuous dialogue and cooperation with EU institutions in order to realise "an ambitious, integrated, open and world-leading knowledge system in Europe".
To read the full statement, please click here.