13 University Associations Sign Joint Letter calling for Doubling of Investment in Research, Innovation and Education.

The European Association of Research Managers and Administrators (EARMA) has published a joint letter with twelve other European Associations of Universities calling for an increase in the budget for research, innovation educational programmes.

The letter states that doubling the budget for the next framework programme (FP9), which will follow Horizon 2020, would add 650,000 jobs and 0.46% to GDP by 2040.

Several London Higher Europe members are also part of these organisations, and London Higher Europe wholly supports this call for more funding in these areas for the benefit of European Citizens and economies. 

This call comes in the wider context of negotiations over the next Multiannual Financial Framework, which will cover the period after 2020. A leaked letter, dated 1st March and signed by President of the Commission Jean Claude Juncker and European Commissioner for Budget and Human Resources, Günther Oettinger, made some tentative proposals. This letter was widely reported in the Brussels media. 

The letter outlines some potential designs for new funding structures, such as 

  • A single 'EU Values Fund' merging Creative Europe, Europe for Citizens, Justice Programme, and the Rights, Equality and Citizenship programme (REC). This fund would have two strands, European Culture, Rights and Values and a Justice strand.
  • Suggestions for a single European Social Fund merging various instruments and covering integration of migrants.

This is part of ongoing negotiations within the Commission for where funding should go and how it should be dispersed. Research organisations across Europe hope that the new budget will take into account the findings of the High Level Lamy report, which also called for a doubling of the budget. Any proposals by the Commission must then be negotiated by the European Parliament and Council before final adoption.

This budget negotiation of course takes place during a period of added financial pressure from Brexit, with the UK and EU in discussions over their future relationship, including any financial committments. 

London Higher Europe supports the calls for a doubling of the budget and continues to engage with the European Commission and UK National Government to promote the benefits of UK university access to the EU framework programmes, which contains some of the most prestigious and successful schemes in the world. 

The EARMA letter can be found here.

The Lamy Report can be found here.

Questions and comments about the London Higher Europe initiative should be directed to jordan.hill@londonhigher.ac.uk