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Scientists from the new EU Member States (EU13) agreed at the “Forum Future Europe” in Berlin to redefine the contribution of education, research and innovation to the advancement of Europe. The meeting took place at the invitation of the Leibniz Association and the German National Academy of Sciences Leopoldina.
In a Joint Communiqué, the signatories from Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, Romania, Slovakia and Slovenia, argue that decisions on the future of the EU must be evidence-based. The research community should and will provide and better communicate scientific advice for such decisions.
The signatories express their firm opposition to a multi-speed Europe. Instead, all Member States need to intensify their efforts for a strong Europe based on clear rights and obligations. The EU must ensure its functional capacity and a modern administration on EU-level.
On the further development of the European Research Area, the signatories emphasise that excellence must be the leading evaluation criterion. Scientists, not politicians, should have the last word in R&I funding competitions. In addition, new instruments for the creation of networks should specifically fund the inclusion of less research-strong Member States, so that a Europe-wide networked scientific culture can thrive.
The next EU Framework Programme “Horizon Europe” should develop new efficacious measures to counteract swiftly and effectively the persisting gap between East and West, North and South, and the brain drain. For this, the signatories propose new personal funding instruments for brain gain towards and brain circulation within Europe. In order to ensure Europe’s global competitiveness, synergies between state-of-the-art research infrastructures and the stakeholders of the diverse European scientific landscape should be funded systematically.