21 March 2018

European universities: ‘Double the budget for research, innovation and education’

Upon the initiative of the League of European Research Universities (LERU), 13 European associations of universities call upon the European Commission, the European Parliament and the European Council, to double the budget for research, innovation and education in the next Multi-Annual Financial Framework (MFF).

The universities released a statement (pdf), fully supporting what EC President Juncker said last week Wednesday in the European Parliament on the funding of Horizon 2020 and FP9 : double the present 80 billion euro to 160 billion euro.

Joint action

This statement is a first initiative of the university associations in the run up to the publication (and the approval later on) of the draft MFF and the draft programs on research, innovation and education in May/June 2018. More joint actions will follow.

LERU chairman and rector of Utrecht University Bert van der Zwaan: “We advocate a doubling of the budget for education, research and innovation with the entire European university sector. This way we can really invest in the future of Europe.

A larger budget is necessary for a more resilient society with less inequality.
Rector and LERU chairman

“With this extra money our continent can acquire a leading global position in areas such as the circular economy, combating infectious diseases and sustainable development. A larger budget is also necessary for a more resilient society with less inequality. The current Horizons 2020 program has been successful with 80 billion euros for 7 years, but in fact it is too small. Only 1 in 5 research proposals can be honored and student mobility is, for example, only 5%, well below the 20% standard agreed in Bologna.

“Soon new agreements will be made. Europe has to act now and national governments and Brussels have to work together for that. ”

The 13 associations of universities are : CESAER, CLUSTER, Coïmbra Group, EARMA, EASSH, ECIU, EUA, The Guild, IDEA League, LERU, SEFI, UNICA and YERUN.