Open letter from the President and Trustees of the Academia Europaea#

On the importance of securing a strong and fully participative association agreement between the United Kingdom and the European Union for Science and Technology in the post-BREXIT era.

Dear Mr Barnier, Mr Davis

The Academia Europaea was established in 1988 as a pan-European association of leading scholars drawn from the sciences, humanities and letters. The organization is registered and is headquartered in the UK as a not-for-profit charity and currently enjoys a competitively elected membership approaching 4000 of the leading scholars from all the countries of our continent, and beyond. As an organization of diversity, we are able to play a prominent role in supporting and encouraging cross disciplinary linkages, collaborative research and strengthening ties between the scholarly communities of all countries and traditions on our continent. This mission was seen as essential in 1988 and is clearly of continuing relevance now in order to advocate for the strengthening of opportunity for all European researchers across the generations and across boundaries.

At this point in time for the negotiations, we feel it is imperative to remind you, the negotiators, of the value added for the whole of Europe in seeking a balanced and mutually beneficial agreement between the European Union and the UK that safeguards the very long and integrated relationships in both research and technological development and in higher education and training that has been developed during the creation of the European Research Area and HEI policy frameworks. Any barriers to mutual access and open collaboration – including free movement for researchers between the UK and EU - will be a significant, negative and backward step that will benefit no one.

Specifically, from our European perspective, The UK has always been a strong supportive environment within which some of the best international research and scholarly collaborations can be nurtured. This environment has been enormously enriched by a substantial inflow of excellent scientists and scholars from continental Europe. The membership of Academia Europaea is itself very diverse and global and it is essential that such an open and mutually beneficial environment continues to exist throughout Europe.

The collected Directors of all Max Planck Society Institutes, have recently expressed their views on the need for a strong and mutually beneficial arrangement for all aspects of RTD collaboration post-BREXIT. This is a view we as the pan-European Academy of Sciences, Humanities and Letters also strongly endorse.

We most sincerely and earnestly hope that both parties to the negotiations will treat research and scholarship as a common European endeavor and move to a mutually workable and beneficial association agreement as a matter of priority.

Yours sincerely

Sierd Cloetingh (Utrecht) – President
Ole Petersen (Cardiff) Vice president
Din Dingwell (Munich) Vice president
Svend Erik Larsen (Aarhus) Vice president
Bjorn Wittrock (Uppsala) trustee
Alexej Verkhratsky (Manchester) trustee
Theo D’haen (Leuven) trustee
Eva Kondorosi (Szeged) trustee
Dagmar Coester-Waltjen (Pullach) trustee
Kirsten Drotner (Odense) trustee
Alain Peyraube (Paris) trustee
Genoveva Marti (Barcelona) trustee

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