A range of leading European university associations have joined forces through an ‘ERA University associations group’ coordinated by the European University Association (EUA) to help advance the ERA in the context of the ERA Forum. The following associations in alphabetical order are currently involved in this open, inclusive and informal group:
The joining of forces amongst our associations aims at coordinating the advice from the European university sector following the publication of the Commission communication A new ERA for Research and Innovation from 30 September 2020, the Council recommendation ‘Pact for research and innovation in Europe’ and conclusions on ‘Future governance of the European Research Area’ from 26 November 2021. It also serves the purpose of ensuring the coordinated representation of the European university sector in the new ERA governance.
In the conclusions, the Council defined twenty ‘ERA Actions’ in an ‘ERA Policy Agenda 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. Aurora is involved in the pre-ERA Forum meetings to provide its input.
The first meeting of the ERA Forum is taking place on 25 February. Stephane Berghmans (EUA) or Silvia Gomez Recio (YERUN) will represent the European university sector.