Rectors Conferences of 10 European countries: European elections 2024 – Universities vote for Europe!

A statement on the upcoming European Parliament elections was issued by the Czech Rectors Conference together with the Rectors Conferences of nine other European countries as part of the Universities for Enlightenment (U4E) initiative. “We call on the politicians standing for election to ensure that European and national policies guarantee a strong commitment to Europe based on the protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms,” it says.

Czech Rectors Conference is a representative body of Czech Republic higher education institutions consisting of these institutions representatives. Currently it has 45 members, rectors of all public, all state and more than half of private higher education institutions.

What do we gain from the EU?

Studying throughout the European Union

The EU guarantees its citizens the right to study in any other EU country under the same conditions that apply to nationals of that Member State. Academic mobility is promoted and supported by the ERASMUS+ programme.

Supporting collaborative research and enhancing global academic cooperation

The EU facilitates cross-border cooperation between European researchers and invests in large-scale framework programmes for research and innovation. The EU promotes the global networking of its universities and research institutions. At the same time, it is developing a framework that ensures research security and protects European interests in a global context.

Promoting research on socially relevant topics

The EU supports research to combat climate change, covering a wide range of topics from new technologies to social cohesion issues. This supports the European Green Deal, which aims to achieve a fair and inclusive transition to a climate-neutral Europe.

Enabling the digital transformation

The EU addresses the digital transformation and the advance of artificial intelligence with its own set of regulations. The EU has an AI strategy and is currently developing ethical guidelines and regulations to mitigate risks and is funding corresponding research and education programmes.

Guaranteed academic freedom

The EU is committed to academic freedom. Academic freedom is inextricably linked to democracy, the rule of law and human rights. These principles are guaranteed in the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights.

What do we expect from the EU?

Move in the right direction

The EU must ensure that international cooperation in education and research remains guaranteed and is further expanded. Europe must remain an attractive location for research and innovation that is open to international students, researchers and lecturers, while at the same time safeguarding European standards and values.

Promote research cooperation across regions

To achieve synergy effects, investment in high-quality science must be distributed across all regions, including the development of an appropriate digital infrastructure.

Check new legislation for university compatibility

The EU should carry out a preliminary assessment of legislation that could have an impact on universities and their activities (e. g. in the areas of trade, migration digital transformation or the rule of law) with the involvement of universities and ensure that new legislation does not hinder education, research and innovation.

Provide ambitious funding

EU research programmes must be ambitiously funded. National and European research spending should be coordinated to create added value.

We call on the politicians standing for election to ensure that European and national policies guarantee a strong commitment to Europe based on the protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms.

This is why we need a strong European Parliament. Give it your vote!

For more information, visit the  Universities for Enlightenment website.

Updated: 31. 05. 2024