Following its 2011 statement on the EU’s “Innovation Union” Flagship Initiative, entitled “Smart People for Smart Growth”, EUA submitted a contribution to the European Commission’s (EC) public consultation on the Europe 2020 strategy, the EU's long-term growth and jobs plan. The aim of the EC Consultation was to draw lessons from the first four years of the strategy. The Commission will draw on the contributions when it presents proposals for the mid-term review of the Europe 2020 strategy early in 2015.
Following a discussion in EUA’s Council meeting in Helsinki, EUA submitted a response to the consultation questions focusing on the “Innovation Union” – one of the seven flagship initiatives which form part of Europe 2020.
In its contribution, EUA highlights, for example, the importance for Europe to harness the diversity and potential of its universities and outlines how universities could be further involved in the Europe 2020 strategy in the future, e.g. by taking into consideration pan-European stakeholder coordinated views.
In terms of the key areas to be addressed for achieving “smart, sustainable and inclusive” growth in Europe, it highlights EUA’s views on the importance of national and EU-level investments in research (including infrastructures and collaborative research) and the need for policy and political support to universities from national governments. The response also outlines the need for greater complementarity and synergies between EU funding programmes (for example with Horizon 2020 and the European Structural and Investment Funds).