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The objective to sustain the dynamism and global competitiveness of Europe depends largely on its ability to increase substantially the number of highly trained people to increase Europe’s knowledge base. European universities are key stakeholders in educating and training researchers and they play an essential role in strengthening the European Union’s scientific and technological bases. Achieving a well-organised and effective European Research Area (ERA) is an objective to which EUA and its membership are committed.

An important part of EUA’s task in the area of research and innovation is to engage with the European institutions and other stakeholders to demonstrate the involvement of universities in ERA and make the case for instruments that enhance further their contributions.

In 2012, EUA signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the European Commission, DG Research and Innovation, to support its members in tackling the main barriers in achieving ERA. In June 2015, EUA renewed its commitment by signing a Joint Statement with the European Commission. EUA has also been actively contributing to the processes involved in shaping and achieving ERA, namely through its policy positions and reports on the progress of European universities in achieving the ERA goals.

During the period July 2012 to December 2013 EUA, through an agreed Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), worked with the European Commission DG Research & Innovation on a series of actions to tackle the main barriers and bottlenecks inhibiting the achievement of the European Research Area (ERA). Other four other stakeholder organisations also signed MoUs with the European Commission on the same occasion, namely the European Association of Research and Technology Organisations (EARTO), the League of European Research Universities (LERU), Nordforsk, and Science Europe.

The main activities undertaken by EUA in the framework of the MoU focused on the areas of doctoral training, research careers and mobility, gender strategies, Smart Specialisation Strategies (RIS3) and Open Access to scientific publications.

The main outcomes of EUA’s activities in these areas are document in two reports – EUA-ERA-Progress Report I (2014) and EUA-ERA Progress Report II (2014).

In June 2015, EUA signed a Joint Statement renewing its commitment to support its membership in working towards the ERA goals. The Joint Statement was signed on the occasion of the ERA conference 2015, ‘Opening up to an ERA of innovation’, by EUA and the European Commission, together with the other stakeholder organisations in the ERA Platform (CESAER, EARTO, LERU, Science Europe).

EUA has published reports on the progress of European universities in achieving the European Research Area (ERA) goals. The following reports are available:

European University Association (EUA)

Brussels office:
Avenue de l’Yser, 24
1040 Brussels
Tel: +32 (0) 2 230 55 44

Geneva office:
114, Rue du Rhône
Case postale 3174
1211 Geneva 3
Tel: +41 22 552 02 96