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Unifi’s key messages to the future European Parliament and Commission

 | Press releases and News

Universities hold a key position in building a competitive and attractive EU, and solving the challenges it faces. With the European Parliament elections in June and the new mandate of EU institutions ahead, Universities Finland Unifi  has prepared three key messages aimed at the future EU Parliament and the Commission. These messages emphasize the pivotal role of skills, knowledge research, education, and innovation in driving success for the EU and its member states

A strong investment in these areas is a prerequisite for Europe’s competitiveness, innovation activities and economic growth. We encourage the EU and future decision-makers to invest in education and research and to create an attractive environment where talented individuals and communities can develop their skills and generate new ideas, says Rector Ilkka Niemelä, chair of the Unifi board.

Unlocking Europe’s success through skills, knowledge, research, education, and innovation

To bolster the EU’s competitiveness, the Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF) must undergo modernisation. The resources need to be increased and the focus should be on activities that support skills, knowledge, and sustainable growth. Critical initiatives driving this are the Erasmus+ programme for education and the EU Framework Programme for Research and Innovation. To reach its ambitious objectives, the future Framework Programme (FP10) requires a double budget of 200 billion euros for the 2028–2034 funding period.

Freedom of science and research are the cornerstones of democratic societies

The second key message emphasis the pivotal role of freedom of science and research for societies where stability, democracy, and well-being thrive. While citizens across EU countries generally have confidence in the positive impact of technology and science, there is an emerging trend: skepticism toward well-researched information. This skepticism is taking new forms and challenging established norms.

Collaboration to promote the quality and impact of education and research

The third message underscores the imperative for enhanced collaboration between the EU and its Member States, with the aim of increasing the quality and impact of education and research. Long-term initiatives such as the European Research Area (ERA) and the European Education Area (EEA) have successfully fostered cooperation among Member States. The focus should shift toward strengthening synergies and coordination between these two domains. Additionally, it is crucial to sustain the EU’s role in promoting mobility, ensuring the flow of experts, information, and data.

The EU plays a crucial role as a major funder and facilitator of collaboration for Finnish universities. In the coming term, the European Parliament will decide on the EU’s next financial framework for the years 2028–2034. UNIFI, representing the Finnish universities, aims to promote dialogue and work closely with EU decision-makers. The goal is to secure ambitious resources for higher education and research, as well as an operating environment that guarantees favorable conditions for scientific freedom, research and autonomous universities, emphasises Heikki Holopainen, Unifi Executive Director.

Read the full version of UNIFI messages: Knowledge and skills play a pivotal role in driving success for the EU and its member states the messages here. The messages can also be downloaded (PDF) from here.

Inquiries:

Executive Director Heikki Holopainen, Tel. +358 400 639 331

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