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In a joint statement, the European University Association (EUA), the Young European Research Universities Network (YERUN), Aurora Universities, The Guild of European Research-Intensive Universities and the Coimbra Group commended the much-needed attention given to research careers in the European Commission proposal for a Council Recommendation on a European framework to attract and retain talents in Europe.

This is a welcome step forward, but must be the first in a series of more active commitments on the part of EU member states to improve research careers in Europe.

With this in mind, the five university associations outlined several possibilities for further improvement. In particular, EUA and partners advocate for (1) enabling framework conditions for higher education institutions and long-term core funding, (2) a holistic and long-term approach to enable flexible and multiple career pathways, (3) the need to empower universities to offer stable and more predictable research careers in line with institutional autonomy and (4) an open and sustainable monitoring of research careers through the Research and Innovation Careers Observatory. They also call for appropriate resources and efforts to implement the Recommendation.

The proposed Council Recommendation connects to ERA Action 4, aiming to promote attractive and sustainable research careers, balanced talent circulation and international, transdisciplinary and inter-sectoral mobility. This is very much in line with the reform of academic careers, one the priorities of EUA’s vision for 2030, ‘Universities without walls’. EUA will continue to promote flexible, diverse and rewarding academic careers, and their research and innovation dimension.

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