Member-only content is available on this page. Please log in to view this content.
Legislation decided at EU level can have a large impact on the European research ecosystem. To reinforce Europe’s world-class research, it is essential to have a regulatory framework in place that benefits research excellence, openness, and international collaboration. Science Europe is active on a range of legislation topics that have an impact for research.
Why does EU legislation matter?
The objective of the European Research Area (ERA) is to build a common scientific and technological area for the EU that will help create a more competitive European industry. This area should be based on the free movement of researchers, scientific knowledge, and innovation. The EU frequently implements legislation that (in)directly changes the framework conditions for European research.
Researchers and research organisations need clear rules that help advance research and innovation. EU legislation therefore needs to respond to their evolving needs and practices. To realise ERA, this legislation must promote excellence, openness, and collaboration. When legislation does not aim to regulate research, but does affect it – such as when regulating data and digitalisation, it must build on cross-sectoral synergies to provide the best conditions for high-quality science.
What are the current priorities?
The European Research Area focuses on:
- promoting researcher mobility and knowledge flows
- incentivising investments in research and innovation
- improving gender equality and diversity in science
- fostering co-operation between different research stakeholders
Further crucial priorities in the coming years will be to:
- address the consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic
- address other societal challenges, such as climate change
- build a more resilient society
To achieve a well-functioning ERA, coherent policies need to be developed at regional, national, and EU level. European authorities must work closely together with national and pan-European research stakeholders. They must develop forward-looking rules that fit the challenges that the world faces.
What does Science Europe do to achieve these aims?
Science Europe is a trusted partner of the EU Institutions and regularly shares the expertise and experience of its members with them. It does so in particular in areas related to the Green Deal, digital transformation, societal challenges, and COVID-19. It thereby contributes to the development of a legislative framework that is beneficial to research and helps us to respond to both existing and future challenges.
How does the EU legislative process work?
Statement on the exemption of not-for-profit educational and scientific repositories, digital archives, and libraries from the Digital Services Act
Research organisations, libraries, repositories, and university networks call for the the exclusion of not-for-profit repositories, digital archives, and libraries from the obligations of the Digital Services Act.
Science Europe Response to the European Commission Consultation on European Digital Principles
Science Europe Response to the European Commission Inception Impact Assessment: Adapting Liability Rules to the Digital Age
In its response to the European Data Protection Board (EDPB) Science Europe welcomes the detailed guidance on identifying whether controllership is joint or separate within a given collaboration and identifying an appropriate legal form to establish an agreement. However further clarification through the EDPB Guidelines would be helpful for public research organisations.
In its response to the European Commission, Science Europe highlights that future EU legislation on AI needs to strike the right balance between safeguards for users and developers of AI systems, and a legal environment that fosters R&I.
In its response to the European Commission, Science Europe highlights that the foreseen scope of the new legislation is not clearly defined and greater clarification should be introduced to ensure that the Digital Services Act does not have unintended effects on research.
In its response to the European Commission Roadmap for an upcoming legislative proposal on the governance of common European data spaces, Science Europe reinforces the need to consider sectoral policies to ensure coherence.
Science Europe calls on the European Commission to take into account the important role of the research sector as producer and user of data. The longstanding experience of the research sector should feed into the development of an overarching EU data strategy that promotes data access across sectors.
In its response to the EC consultation on the European Strategy for Data, Science Europe also underlines the need to consider sectoral policies to ensure coherence between overarching and sectoral policies.
In this joint statement research and Innovation stakeholders call on the EU institutions to seek a balanced approach to data sharing in response to the European Commission’s proposal for a revision of the Directive on re-use of public sector information (PSI Directive). While the partners are supportive of the European agenda to promote Open Science and innovation, and share a common commitment to the principle of making research data ‘as open as possible and as closed as necessary’, there is a need to focus on the optimal re-use of research data and not on the (unconditional) opening of such data.