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State of the European Union: research and education essential to meet Europe’s ambitions

21 September 2017

On 13 September 2017, the President of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker, delivered his yearly speech on the state of the Union.

After the summer break, this is traditionally the moment to look back at the political developments in the European Union over the past year and discuss priorities for the year ahead. Jean-Claude Juncker called for a stronger, more united and more democratic Europe against the background of Europe’s achievements during 2017, particularly the economic recovery and falling unemployment in many European countries. He aims for Europe’s industry to be world leader in innovation, decarbonisation and digitisation and announced a new strategy to relaunch European industry and foster free global trade. 

EUA welcomes this general pledge for a strong and united Europe, but is convinced that Europe can only meet these ambitions and tackle major societal challenges, such as climate change and migration, through a considerable boost of research and education. In the context of changing labour markets, it is furthermore not possible to envisage a free trading Europe of strong industries without thinking about how Europeans are trained to harness globalisation. Universities play an important role in this regard and this is why a continued dialogue between institutions as well as policy-makers and the society at large is needed to tackle those challenges together.  

The full EUA response to the state of the Union address is available on the EUA website. 

European University Association (EUA)

Brussels office:
Avenue de l’Yser, 24
1040 Brussels
Tel: +32 (0) 2 230 55 44

Geneva office:
114, Rue du Rhône
Case postale 3174
1211 Geneva 3
Tel: +41 22 552 02 96