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LERU, double investment to boost Europe's competitiveness03-04-2018

13 European associations signed the statement that calls upon the EU institutions to double the investment in research, innovation and education. The initiative was launched by the League of European Research Universities, that includes the University of Milan.

Upon the initiative of LERU - the League of European Research Universities, that includes the University of Milan - 13 European associations of universities signed a document that calls upon the EU institutions to double the investment in research, innovation and education in the next Multi-Annual Financial Framework.

The 13 associations – CESAER, CLUSTER, Coïmbra Group, EARMA, EASSH, ECIU, EUA, The Guild, IDEA League, LERU, SEFI, UNICA and YERUN – support what EC President Juncker said in the European Parliament on the funding of Horizon 2020 and FP9, asking to double the present 80 billion euro to 160 billion euro.

The doubling of investment would create an estimated 650.000 jobs by 2040 and add around 0.46% to GDP over the same period, enabling the EU to emerge as a global leader in areas like future-energy batteries, smart and clean buildings and vehicles, infectious diseases, and the circular economy.

The document signed by the 13 associations of European universities highlights the insufficiency of the Horizon 2020 funding (less than 80 billion euro for 7 years), as well as the partial success of Erasmus+, that fostered European student mobility and employability at 5%: a result that is far below the 20% Bologna Process target.

Following the statement, the doubling the FP budget cannot be a substitute for investment in research, innovation and education at national level. National investment in research (to the level of 3% of GDP as agreed by the Member States) and education, together with EU funding, is crucial for Europe's competitiveness and for a sustainable European society.

The common statement signed by the 13 associations reaffirm the universities strong commitment in the search for solutions to pressing, emerging and future societal challenges, and for boosting EU competitiveness.

The associations state the value of the research results that universities bring to the public and the market, and look forward to working with the EU institutions to make European research, innovation and education programmes an even greater success than they are today.

The 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, since a united university front will be crucial in order to achieve a satisfying outcome for universities.


Read the statement available on LERU website.