To voice the opinion and concerns of European universities and to provide input to the debates on EU initiatives and proposals, the EUA policy units and communication team work together to develop public relations campaigns.
European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI) – 2014-2016
A new tool proposed by the European Commission in 2014, EFSI is meant to overcome the current investment gap in the EU by mobilising private financing for strategic investments. To provide funding for this tool, the Commission proposed to shift significant resources away from Horizon 2020, the main research funding programme of the EU.
EUA carefully studied the proposal and rallied the university sector to protest against the planned cuts. It launched a multi-phase campaign, addressing all key stakeholders in cooperation with its member National Rectors’ Conferences. The campaign included a series of statements and newsletter articles, ensuring high visibility in the media; an analysis of the EFSI proposal summarised in a policy brief; contacts and meetings with high-level decision-makers, etc. An overview of these actions can be found here.
In June 2015 the EFSI regulation was fully adopted with notable changes, including the cancellation of the cuts foreseen for some of the actions of the Horizon 2020 programme, after the university and research stakeholders were heard by the different actors.
In June 2016, EUA published a review entitled “One year of EFSI: What's in it for universities? An EUA review”, and found that there seems to be no benefit for universities – even though the scheme was created with funds taken from Horizon 2020. To read the review, please click here.
EU Annual Budget
EUA monitors the annual EU budget procedure as it directly affects the sums allocated to important programmes for universities, including Horizon 2020, Erasmus +, structural funds, etc. While the overall figures are set for seven years via the Multiannual Financial Framework, the yearly allocation matters because significant shifts can be operated. For 2016 this procedure is all the more relevant as the budget has to integrate the changes
linked to EFSI (see above). EUA has pledged to pay particular attention as to how “unused margins” are reallocated to limit cuts to research funding, and continues to work closely with the European Parliament on this issue.
EUA has represented the interests of the university sector throughout the negotiations leading to the adoption and implementation of Horizon 2020, the largest research funding programme of the European Union. Find out more about EUA’s position on Horizon 2020 here