On 16 September, the European Commission (EC) presented its latest European Research Area (ERA) Progress Report, which aims to provide an update on progress towards the ERA priorities. The report is accompanied by the ERA facts and figures 2014 publication which includes a section with details of actions carried out by EUA and other European organisations involved in the ERA Stakeholder platform.
To complement the ERA Progress Report, EUA has also published this week further details of its recent ERA-related activities and which highlight the contribution of universities to achieving the ERA goals.
According to the European Commission, its 2014 ERA Progress Report published this week confirms that the ERA partnership between member states, research stakeholders and the Commission has made good progress in delivering ERA. The conditions for achieving an ERA, where researchers and scientific knowledge can circulate freely, are in place at the European level, it adds, noting that “reforms must now be implemented at the Member State level to make ERA work”.
The EC also indicates that a number of initiatives announced in the 2012 ERA communication have been firmly established, such as embedding ERA in the European Semester and setting up an ERA Monitoring Mechanism.
EUA is one of the European stakeholder organisations (SHOs) in research and innovation that signed Memoranda of Understanding (MoU) and Joint Statements with the EC, committing them to working together towards the ERA goals. Details of EUA’s and the other SHOs’ actions in this context are included in a section of the ERA “facts and figures” publication which accompanies the EC’s 2014 ERA Progress Report.
This accompanying publication includes a reference to a report that EUA has published this week in order to provide additional information on the work of universities towards the ERA goals entitled “European universities in the European Research Area: Building on strengths”.
EUA’s report outlines the main activities by EUA and its university members, structured around the five ERA priorities. It also highlights a series of key messages from EUA’s perspective for future ERA progress. For example, EUA stresses that the development of the European Research Area (ERA) has to go hand in hand with that of the European Higher Education Area (EHEA); and that a “right balance of autonomy and accountability is essential for universities to be successful and competitive in the global higher education and research environment”.
EUA welcomes the inclusion of the ERA process in the European Semester and the recently created ERA Monitoring Mechanism. Looking forward, EUA believes it will now be important to reflect on the results of the ERA Progress Report as well as on how to further contribute to the development of the ERA Monitoring Mechanism in order to track progress effectively and define the most important next steps for the ERA.
- The European Commission’s ERA Progress report, accompanying facts and figures, and country snapshots can be viewed here.
- Download the EUA update report here.