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Coimbra Group endorses call for an open and inclusive European Research Area

08 February 2022

By endorsing the Stick to Science campaign, the Coimbra Group strongly reiterates its call for the finalisation of the Horizon Europe association agreements with Switzerland and the United Kingdom (UK). Stick to Science is an online signature campaign advocating for an open and inclusive European Research Area (ERA). It has already been backed by almost 75 organisations and over 300 individual signatories. The campaign was officially launched on Tuesday, 8 February during Science Business annual conference. It is a collective response by the European research community to the delayed progression of EU negotiations with Switzerland and the UK. The signatories urge the EU institutions, the UK and Switzerland to rapidly reach association agreements so that the two countries can contribute scientifically and financially to the strength of Horizon Europe.

The Coimbra Group, which member universities have always contributed to fruitful scientific collaborations with both countries over the past decades, has been among the first supporters of the Stick to Science initiative. The Coimbra Group also counts three members in the UK and one member in Switzerland. “We cannot accept any longer that scientific cooperation be held hostage to bilateral politics,“ stresses Ludovic Thilly, the Chair of Coimbra Group’s Executive Board. He adds that the need for an open and inclusive European Research Area is even more important now, “at a period in time when global challenges have never required so much international research collaboration.“

Since January 2020 the Coimbra Group has been closely monitoring the effects of Brexit on academic cooperation and looking into solutions to mitigate them. The Coimbra Group also joined previous advocacy campaigns calling for UK‘s and Switzerland’s association to Horizon Europe and will continue to actively support these efforts until they are fulfilled. Read more here or here

Stick to Science Press Release

Video Statement by Coimbra Group Executive Board Chair