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Eurodoc endorses the Open Letter: "European Research and Higher Education Organisations Call On Commission Not to Neglect Their Needs in Lawmaking"

Science Europe, together with the European University Association (EUA), The Guild of European Research-Intensive Universities, the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA), Knowledge Rights 21 (KR21), LIBER (Ligue des Bibliothèques Européennes de Recherche – Association of European Research Libraries), SPARC Europe, and Stichting eIFL.net (EIFL) have issued an open letter on January 31st, 2024. In their letter, the signatories address Secretary-General of the European Commission, urging for stronger efforts to integrate the needs and concerns of the research and education sectors into the Commission’s guidance on the better regulation agenda.

The Better Regulation agenda aims to

  • Ensure EU policy making is based on evidence
  • MakingEU laws simpler and better, and avoiding unnecessary burdens
  • Involving citizens, businesses and stakeholders in the decision-making process

However, the signatories of the Open Letter identify a number of recent EU policies that in different ways fell short of the needs of the two academic sectors, for example with regards to the digital services act.

The group around Science Europe highlights in their Open Letter the following five points:

  1. Review the European Union’s Innovation Principle to ensure it reflects the importance of public sector research and education.
  2. Update the Commission’s Better Regulation Toolkit and any other guidance for impact assessment to properly and fully include the needs and interests of higher education and research as well as ensure the protection of academic freedom. Furthermore, there should be a regular evaluation whether this has happened.
  3. Ensure – as a matter of internal procedure – that the impacts on education and research in any legislation are duly considered and improved through inter-service collaboration. In particular, those related to intellectual property law and to the Digital Agenda need immediate attention.
  4. Actively reach out to education and research groups and institutions as part of the impact assessment process in order to receive informed views and opinions on the impact on the sector.
  5. Act now to remedy the negative impacts of recent digital legislation on the research sector.

These calls to ensure the Higher Education and Research-Performing sectors' contributions in European policymaking and lawmaking are timely and important. 

In the statement, Eurodoc explains in more detail its position on all five points, and endorses the Open Letter to join into the call to action for the European Commission, with particular respect to the needs of the individuals in research and education, as highlighted in the detailed statement here: https://zenodo.org/doi/10.5281/zenodo.10847458