European Universities Alliances fully committed to making the initiative a success in a long term

UNITA   29 of september of 2023

European University Alliances welcome the new EU Commissioner Iliana Ivanova and her stated support for the European Universities’ Initiative, and are looking forward to engaging with her and her team. Alliances are committed to the European Universities, and Europe can count on the Alliances to continue this European success story and to further realise the full potential of the European Universities. Many exciting innovations, impressive developments and fruitful collaborations are already taking place, as recently showcased at the II Forum of Alliances in Barcelona on 14 and 15 September. Concrete success stories can be found on the communication channels of the Alliances and the European Universities.

As mentioned by Vice-President Schinas in Barcelona, the European Universities initiative is not a project, but a long-term transformational process. In this context, the European Universities alliances highlighted last year their need for sustainable and holistic support. This should combine resources from both the EU and Member states to ensure a more systemic, structural and sustainable cooperation across Europe and to unfold the full multi-mission transformation potential of the European Universities Initiative beyond the current Erasmus+ based funding model which extends until 2028/29. We, the European University Alliances would like to thank the European Commission for listening, and for the open debate that has been launched over the future investment pathway for European Universities.[1]

The Alliances remain committed to the transformational agenda enabled to date through Erasmus+, Horizon 2020 (unfortunately not yet continued in Horizon Europe) and the engagement of their own resources. The Alliances are also willing to discuss with all relevant stakeholders the establishment of a sustainable and predictable investment pathway architecture to allow the long-term, multi-mission vision of the alliances to be realised. A necessary part of a globally competitive European Education and Research Area. Furthermore, Alliances urge the Member States to strongly engage in and support such a process to ensure a coherent approach across European countries. This is necessary to truly deliver on the ambition and full potential of the European Universities initiative. 

Alliances call for an investment pathway which depicts a clear vision for a long-term and holistic financial sustainable future. With that, the Alliances reiterate their call expressed in a joint statement of all 41 European University Alliances at that time on 8 March 2022:

“All 41 alliances call on the Member States to urgently support the establishment of holistic and sustainable long-term funding to deepen transnational cooperation of European University alliances across all their missions in a coherent way. This will enable the European Universities Initiative to go beyond a short-term project approach and deliver on their long-term, innovative and ambitious vision of future-proof European universities. This funding must (1) integrate all university’s missions (education, research, innovation, transfer to society) and (2) combine resources (Erasmus+, Horizon Europe, Digital Europe, Interregional Innovation Investments, member state funding, etc.) reflecting not only the knowledge square approach, but also the infrastructural and other supports needed to drive the development of globally competitive European University Alliances. Finally, it is important that support is (3) sustainable, a long-term funding instrument is needed to build sustainable European Universities that can deliver on their vision. The upcoming midterm review of the current European Programmes is an excellent momentum to test and design such a holistic funding instrument.”


[1] Individual alliances provide a more detailed feedback according to the background documents for the investment pathway, provided by DG EAC, in cooperation with DG RTD, including concrete input on the R&I needs of alliances.

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