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Coimbra Group joins forces with other university associations to advance European Research Area

25 February 2022

The Coimbra Group is working closely together with other leading European university associations in the context of the new European Research Area (ERA) Forum established to support the European Commission and EU Member States in developing and implementing the ERA actions.

The following ten associations (in alphabetical order) have currently joined forces through an “ERA University Associations Group” coordinated by the European University Association (EUA): AURORA, CESAER, Coimbra Group, ECIU, UNICA, EUA, EuroTech Universities Alliance, The Guild, UAS4EUROPE and YERUN.

The open, inclusive and informal group aims at coordinating the advice from the European university sector following the publication of the Commission communication A new ERA for Research and Innovation in September 2020, the Council recommendation ‘Pact for research and innovation in Europe’ and the Council conclusions on the ‘Future governance of the European Research Area’ in November 2021. The “ERA University Associations Group” also serves the purpose of ensuring a coordinated representation of the European University sector in the new ERA governance.

In its conclusions, the Council defined twenty ERA Actions in an ERA Policy Agenda for 2022-2024 and introduced the ERA Forum as “the body, established by the Commission, responsible for enhancing coordination towards the effective implementation of the ERA Policy Agenda, supporting the Commission and the Member States in the delivery of the ERA Actions”.

The Council further defined that the ERA Forum should “ensure representative involvement at its relevant meetings of EU-level umbrella organisations or other appropriate representative organisations relevant at EU level of the following seven types of stakeholders: universities and other higher education institutions, research and technology performing organisations, R&I-intensive businesses, including SMEs, individual researchers and innovators, including at early- and middle stages of their carriers, research infrastructures, R&I-funding organisations and academies of sciences”.

The discussions with the Council and the Commission clarified that one individual from each of the seven types of stakeholders identified may be present at the meetings of the ERA Forum. The first meeting of the ERA Forum for Transition with stakeholders is taking place on 25 February 2022. Stephane Berghmans (EUA) is participating for the European University sector.