University associations join forces to advance European Research Area

23 February 2022

EUA has teamed up with fellow associations representing the university sector to help advance the renewed European Research Area (ERA). The “ERA University Associations Group” has the objective of presenting the voice of Europe’s universities, in an open and inclusive informal group, in the context of the ERA Forum.

With ten total members, the group aims to gather concrete and shared recommendations from the sector and provide coordinated input to the ERA Forum. The ERA University Associations Group members are: AURORA, CESAER, Coimbra Group, ECIU, UNICA, EUA, EuroTech Universities Alliance, The Guild, UAS4EUROPE and YERUN.

The group serves to ensure a coordinated representation of the European university sector in the new ERA governance. The first meeting of the ERA Forum for Transition with stakeholders will take place on 25 February 2022 and Stephane Berghmans, EUA Director of Research and Innovation, will be present, representing the European university sector.

The initiative comes in response to the 2020 Commission Communication “A new ERA for Research and Innovation”, the 2021 Council Recommendation “Pact for research and innovation in Europe” and the Conclusions “Future governance of the European Research Area”.

In the conclusions, the Council defined twenty ERA Actions in an ERA Policy Agenda 2022-2024 and introduced the ERA Forum as “the body, established by the Commission, responsible for enhancing coordination towards the effective implementation of the ERA Policy Agenda, supporting the Commission and the Member States in the delivery of the ERA Actions”.

The Council further defined that the ERA Forum should “ensure representative involvement at its relevant meetings of EU-level umbrella organisations or other appropriate representative organisations relevant at EU level (…)”. The document defines seven types of stakeholders, including universities and other higher education institutions.  

The discussions with the Council and the Commission clarified that one individual from each group of stakeholders may be present at the meetings of the ERA Forum.

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