EUA has this week (8 November) published a statement addressed to Heads of State and Government attending the forthcoming European Council meeting (22-23 November) that will focus on the EU’s next long-term budget for 2014-2020. The statement, issued on behalf of the EUA Board and Council, outlines why it is crucial that the proposed programmes for research (Horizon 2020) and education (Erasmus for All) are given high priority in the EU budget negotiations.
The statement explains that the EU’s “Europe 2020 Strategy goals of achieving smart and sustainable growth have to be built on enhancing research and development, human resources and skills to deliver the new products and services that Europe must offer to remain globally competitive.”
“Europe’s global regional competitors are not waiting. They are investing heavily in universities and the next generation of young people who will be the innovators of tomorrow. In Europe today we are at risk of marginalising ourselves and losing out in the competition through creating a ‘lost generation’ of young people as a result of under-investment in higher education and research,” it adds.
In particular, the statement sends three key messages to Heads of State and Government due to attend the Budget Summit. Firstly, it underlines that the frequently stated political rhetoric which places emphasis on the central role of education, research and innovation in Europe’s future competitiveness needs to be backed up by commitment and action by EU Member States.
Secondly, it stresses that increased investment in higher education and research to mobilise the potential and capacities of present and next generations of young people is the ‘sine qua non’ for Europe to exit the economic crisis and achieve future prosperity.
Finally, it asserts that EU-level investments are essential as a counter-balancing force when the economy is weak, and to act as catalysts for economic re-structuring and growth.
The statement reiterates EUA’s strong support for the European Commission and European Parliament proposals for an enlarged budget for Horizon 2020 and the Erasmus for All Programme. More than ever, for the very reason that economic recovery is not yet achieved, now is not the time to reduce investment in education, research and development.
The full statement and signatories can be viewed here.
EUA has also encouraged its members to support the petition being launched against the potential cuts to the research budget. The petition website can be accessed here.