Go beyond resilience to tackle local and global challenges

Our association calls upon the EU to tackle local and global challenges by assuming leadership at a global level, promoting agency of academic institutions and academics, and boosting systemic transformations.
31st March 2021
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The leading research-intensive universities of Science and Technology (S&T) united within CESAER have published their position contributing to the ongoing debate on the EU’s upcoming Global Approach to Research, Education and Innovation.

With a view to tackling the consequences of the Covid-19 pandemic, attain the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDG) and address local and global challenges, we call upon the EU institutions to:

  • Assume leadership at a global level;
  • Promote agency of academic institutions and academics;
  • Boost the systemic transformations needed to stimulate cultural, economic and societal recovery and to build resilience in pursuit of ecological, economic and social sustainability (European Green Deal) and digitalisation (Europe fit for the digital age).

This position complements our positions Towards a truly reinforced European Research Area (ERA), Towards a dynamic European Education Area (EEA) driven by excellence, sustainable funding, recovery and research talent circulation.

Rik Van de Walle (President of CESAER and Rector of Ghent University) said: “We advise the EU to both facilitate S&T excellence as well as capacity building to help provide an answer to the pandemic and local and global challenges. While we acknowledge the need to be realistic and, in exceptional cases, exclude parties from third countries from S&T cooperation and competition, we urge national and regional governments and the EU institutions to pursue openness in principle and in practice by default.

“Our Members operate at the very forefront of S&T that can be applied for dual-use purposes and are aware of the risks and challenges of foreign government interference, including through academic institutions and academics from abroad. That is why we continuously assess the situations, build capacity in our institutions to safeguard scientific integrity, build a culture of proactive awareness of risks and establish systems to supervise and mitigate them. We also assume our responsibility to address such issues and our core values with partners from abroad”.

“We are committed to contribute to ecological, economic and social sustainability and co-create and join initiatives such as the Education for Climate Coalition. We offer our expertise to support the European Commission’s services to (i) establish a Global Framework for S&T Cooperation based on values, and (ii) provide clarity early on and transparency for the duration of the EU funding programmes on exclusions (such as the invocation of article 22 § 5 of the regulation establishing Horizon Europe) through a ‘Note of Interpretation’ paving the way for correct understanding, full alignment between Horizon Europe and Erasmus+, and coherent and consistent application across all Commission services”, said David Bohmert (Secretary General).

Please reference this document using https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.4647224

For more information and enquiries, please contact our Secretary General David Bohmert.

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