The League of European Research Universities calls on Europe’s future institutions to make a firm commitment to research

The League of European Research Universities (LERU) has recently presented its strategic positioning on what European research policy should be for the period 2024-2029. Specifically, the network, which brings together the continent’s twenty-four most research-intensive universities, including the University of Barcelona, prioritises sixteen actions that should contribute to generating a favourable ecosystem for the European higher education system, the best positioned to boost competitiveness, improve living standards and meet the European Union’s climate objectives.

With a view to the European Parliament elections on 9 June and the future renewal of the European Commission, LERU instructs future legislators to work on the following roadmap: 

  • Reform the multiannual financial framework programmes, which, in LERU’s view, have proved insufficient to cover research funding priorities. 
  • Clearly define the responsibilities of future commissions to avoid overlaps. 
  • Consider the recommendation for European institutions to develop synergies between the different programmes, in order to avoid loss of talent, funding and innovation. 
  • Increase investment in research, innovation and education. 
  • Harmonise state regulatory frameworks to stimulate innovation and growth. 
  • Review new European legislation to ensure that the work of universities is not hampered. 
  • Make education a shared competence between the European institutions and the member states. 
  • Enshrining the protection of academic freedom in EU treaties. 
  • Strengthen innovation and sustainable social transformation by increasing support for frontier research across disciplines. 
  • Boost international collaboration. 
  • Recognise and support leading institutions that can make a difference. 
  • Involve universities in EU industrial policy. 
  • Create a real European research area, unhindered by member states. 
  • Promoting academic and research careers. 
  • Strengthening the digital sovereignty of universities. 
  • Supporting universities to progress in a changing environment. 

The universities that make up LERU claim their key role as generators and transmitters of progress and knowledge to society. The publication includes examples of research projects conducted by LERU universities that have had a positive impact on European society. 

In the case of the UB, the project of lecturer and researcher Ana Moragues Faus, from the Faculty of Economics and Business, to reconstruct urban food systems with the aim of guaranteeing universal access to sustainable food stands out. The research recommendations on how to develop successful urban food policies have been applied by city councils around the world. 

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