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Coimbra Group already prepares dialogue with new European Parliament

31 May 2019

Ludovic Thilly, EB Chair, and Jürgen Barkhoff, EB Vice-Chair, on behalf of EB members

May 2019 has been a decisive month in recent European History, with the elections of the new European Parliament (EP). The results show a significant change in the Parliament’s composition, with increased presence of Greens, Liberals and also Nationalists, but without the massive surge of Eurosceptic parties, which many had feared and predicted. The substantial increase in voter’s turnout across the EU is a heartening sign that the European project is still able to motivate and mobilize its citizens.

The Executive Board is committed to engage in intensive dialogue with the new MEPs to impress on them that higher education and research must be strongly supported to strengthen the European project, underpin growth and innovation and achieve a more inclusive Europe.

The preparation of this dialogue will start immediately on the occasion of the 2019 annual meeting, hosted by the Jagiellonian University in Krakow on 5-7 June with:

  • meetings of our 11 Working Groups on education, research and outreach, to actively prepare for the next three-year work plans;
  • public conference on “Women in the University – the past, the present and the future”, on 6 June morning, with prestigious speakers and panels;
  • Closed Rectors’ meeting with focus on “synergy between European education and research policies” with speakers from the European Commission;
  • General Assembly with reports from 2018-2019 activities, Coimbra Group 3MT competition final and elections for the Executive Board.

This dialogue will take place during the next months with upcoming events, such as:

  • in June 2019, the publication of the Coimbra Group policy paper on “synergy between European education and research policies”
  • on 8 October 2019, the High-Level Workshop in Brussels with MEPs and other EU stakeholders on the “Poitiers Declaration and university-city cooperation”;
  • on 2-3 December 2019, the High-Level Seminar on Education Policy, with the topic “Universities as drivers of socio-academic integration in multilingual Europe”, at the University of Tartu

Several other occasions will provide a platform for communication with MEPs and European Institutions: the Executive Board will remain in close contact with Rectors and their communities to ensure that Coimbra Group’s voice is heard.