In a new statement, ALLEA sets priorities for building a new European Research Area (ERA) and for implementing the Policy Action Points developed in the ERA Transition Forum.
In 2021, ALLEA was invited by the European Commission to be part of developing a new European Research Area (ERA) that supports the free circulation of researchers and knowledge, joint and more efficient use of research infrastructure, excellence, attractive careers, equal opportunities, and cooperation between research and innovation actors across Europe. With the ALLEA Statement for an ERA of Freedom and Excellence published today, the European Academies of Sciences and Humanities reflect on the 20 ERA Policy Agenda Action Points developed in the consultations of the ERA Transition Forum, which brings together delegates from the European Commission, Member States, Associated Countries, and Stakeholder Organisations.
The statement has been prepared by the ALLEA Working Group on the ERA, and it welcomes this initiative for a new ERA that reflects the European Academies’ vision for borderless and universal science as a global public good that transcends national and disciplinary boundaries. The statement strongly emphasises the need to enable scientific cooperation, particularly in times of multiple crises. This cooperation should take place in a robust and empowering institutional setting and should be based on good research practices. Accordingly, a strong ERA should be built on the principles of academic freedom, integrity and ethics, excellence, trustworthiness, inclusiveness, openness, sustainability, collaboration, mobility, equality, diversity, equity, as well as thinking and acting globally.
Highlighting these priorities and thereby commenting on various ERA Policy Agenda Action Points, the authors specifically stress the need for safeguarding academic freedom: “This includes advocating clear and unanimous support for Higher Education Institutions and Research Performing Organisations facing threats to academic freedom through political circumstances, such as internal or external oppression, or war.”
Other priorities for the ERA Policy Agenda highlighted in the statement are:
- A continuous focus on scientific excellence as a guiding principle for research assessment as well as funding.
- A need for fundamental research to sustain a genuinely world class science base in Europe in the long term.
- An emphasis on establishing truly interdisciplinary partnerships and a recognition of the importance of interdisciplinary and international research collaborations.
- An awareness of the growing importance and complexity of science-society and science-policy relations and how science relies on trust and trustworthiness.
- Capacity building and improved accessibility to existing research infrastructure in the EU-13 countries.
Read the full statement for more information on how to implement an effective ERA beneficial for all Europeans.