During the signature of the Memorandum of Understanding. (Photo: Veerle Van Kerckhove)
On 17th July the League of European Research Universities (LERU), in which the UB is a member, and the European Commission signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on the further realisation of the European Research Area (ERA). According to this MoU, LERU will encourage its members to carry out, by the end of 2013, a number of actions, dealing with open recruitment, research careers, gender, mobility, doctoral training open access, knowledge transfer, e-science and scientific cooperation.
Exactly 10 years ago, in August 2002, LERU published its first ever document, which was a note on the creation of the ERA and the role of research-intensive universities. Five years later, LERU produced an extensive position paper on the future of the ERA, and in 2009 LERU did another note for the incoming Commissioner, Mrs Geoghegan Quinn, on the further development of the ERA. In each of those documents, LERU expressed its strong support of the concept of a powerful ERA and has acted accordingly.
Over the past ten years, LERU members have developed strategies on different key issues, necessary for the realisation of the ERA. These strategies are written out in several LERU position and advice papers, and, taking into account LERU’s motto “Leading by Example”, the LERU universities have tried to realise them over the past few years. And although they have made a significant progress on all of them, it is clear that LERU is not there yet, on all issues with all members. That is why LERU strongly welcomed the Commissioner’s initiative to join forces in the further realisation of the ERA and worked hard on the content of and the support for the Memorandum of Understanding.
This Memorandum will be the guiding document for LERU’s ERA actions and initiatives in the near future. LERU will encourage its members to carry out the action points contained in it and report on the progress achieved by the end of next year. Together with other stakeholder organisations and the European Commission, LERU also signed today a Joint Statement
“on working in partnership in achieving the European Research Area”.