European Research and Higher Education Organisations Call On Commission Not to Neglect Their Needs in Lawmaking

Knowledge Rights 21 (KR21) and seven other organisations (see list hereunder), representing key actors in the public research and higher education sectors, released an open letter today addressed to Ilze Juhansone, Secretary-General of the European Commission, and colleagues demanding the Commission prioritise research and education in its ex-ante impact assessment process.

Too often, Regulations and Directives have been proposed with far-reaching consequences for universities, research centres and the people who work there, but with little or no consideration of these implications.

A recent KR21 assessment of impact evaluations of key legislation in the areas of knowledge, data and digital affairs demonstrates the need for a more comprehensive, inclusive approach in the guidance given to those preparing legislation and reviews thereof. See our position paper here.

“Revisiting the way the European Commission assesses the impact of proposed legislation must be just one element of a comprehensive agenda to champion research and education in Europe, both as fundamental rights and determinants of sustainability in all its dimensions.”

Stephen Wyber, Chair of the Management Committee of KR21

The letter proposes concrete steps, including a review of the Union’s Innovation Principle, which is currently focused only on private-sector research, as well as an update of its tools for impact assessment and more effective outreach both between European Commission’s services and to stakeholders.

“LIBER works consistently to promote the interests of research libraries and the communities they represent and serve. To do so, we need to secure a legally clear and unambiguous environment that allows the innovation in our organisations to flourish and contribute to European growth and coherence. We join our voice with other concerned organisations to urge the EC to balance the impacts of European legislation and revalue the driving forces of public institutions.”

Giannis Tsakonas, LIBER Vice President & KR21 Management Committee Member

Finally, it urges rapid steps to correct the uncertainties caused by recent legislation.

The signatories:

  • European University Association (EUA)
  • The Guild of European Research-Intensive Universities
  • International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA)
  • Knowledge Rights 21 (KR21)
  • LIBER (Ligue des Bibliothèques Européennes de Recherche – Association of European Research Libraries)
  • Science Europe
  • SPARC Europe
  • Stichting (EIFL)

31 January 2024