Excellent research is strongly dependent on the ability of researchers and scientific institutions to conduct their work without undue outside interference and to freely choose their research agendas. The freedom of research is vital not only for the quality of research but also for the trust the wider public places in scientific institutions. As such, academic freedom and institutional autonomy are of fundamental importance and value to society and must be protected.
In most cases, countries in Europe have stipulations enshrined in national legislation or as part of the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights that guarantee the freedom of academic research and the autonomy of scientific institutions. However, despite these existing protections, universities, academies, and individual scientists continue to be the target of increasing political pressures, and researchers are experiencing worrying infringements on their research agendas. Academic freedom and institutional autonomy are no longer self-evident in Europe and around the world, with grave consequences for scholars, science and society.
ALLEA strives to ensure that the public and policy makers are aware of the importance of safeguarding academic freedom. On behalf of its members, ALLEA stands up against unjustified infringements and intervenes with a range of actions, including mediation, statements and open letters, in support of academic institutions under threat over recent years.