Addressing Europe’s key challenges and ensuring sustainable development requires the EU to have a well-functioning budget and to revisit its investment priorities. Cooperation in research and education is a key facilitator in achieving these goals and should therefore be a top investment priority for the Union in the future. The Framework Programme for Research and Innovation (FP), the European Structural and Investment Funds (ESIF) and Erasmus+ (E+) are important tools in channelling such investment, make it available to beneficiaries and provide a framework for cooperation.
As the European Union prepares the next generation of EU funding programmes for the post-2020 period, budget discussions are increasingly geared towards performance, European added value, trust and efficiency. Simplification is a cornerstone in the debate as it is seen as a way to achieve these goals, lower entry barriers to programmes (thus improving participation throughout Europe), and overall to maximise the impact of EU funds.
This position paper reiterates the strategic importance of fostering a united and prosperous knowledge-based society in Europe, which needs to remain a high priority despite the uncertain political and economic context.
Adopted by the EUA Council on 28 October 2016, this vision paper provides an early perspective on the main challenges ahead and outlines key areas, from the point of view of Europe’s universities, to be considered by the European Commission when planning the Ninth EU Framework Programme (FP9). EUA’s position reflects the significant contribution made by European universities in promoting excellence in research and education and their role in advancing societal, cultural and economic development.
Universities are aware of the need to overcome their fragmentation and to develop institutional strategies underpinning their action. EUA has formulated a set of principles on which strategies and policies should be built. These reflect the unique research role of universities as institutions without which there would be no research and no researchers, and seek to identify a “European way” of fostering and utilising high quality research.