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European Campus makes its first introduction in Brussels

EU Commissioner Oettinger and Minister of European Affairs Wolf support the European university pilot project on the Upper Rhine

Freiburg, Oct 12, 2017

European Campus makes its first introduction in Brussels

Hans-Jochen Schiewer (right), President of Eucor – The European Campus during a podium discussion in the EU office of the State of Baden-Württemberg. Photo: Eric Berghen

During the event “Europe in a nutshell – experiences with the implementation of cross-border groupings of higher education institutions” on October 11, 2017 in the EU office for the State of Baden-Württemberg in Brussels, Günther Oettinger, EU Commissioner for Budget and Human Resources, Guido Wolf, Minister of Justice and European Affairs in Baden-Württemberg, as well as Lilla Merabet, Vice President for Innovation and Research in the Region Grand Est, expressed their support for European cross-border academic cooperation.

“Cross-border academic cooperation is key for developing a closely knit region,“ said EU Commissioner Günther Oettinger. “In the future we must keep a particular focus on academic exchange. By intermeshing the various universities, we are able to rely on their respective strengths and to mutually reach the necessary critical mass to remain competitive with larger initiatives in the top league of research as well.“  In addition, he declared his strong commitment on behalf of the EU to continue to offer financial support to cross-border scientific projects such as the European Campus.

Baden-Württemberg’s European Minister Guido Wolf agreed with him and specified the following about his State: "As natives of Baden-Württemberg, we have a particular interest in strengthening Europe along with a special responsibility for the European project. Education and research have never been as important for Europe as they are today. They are fundamental for maintaining our prosperity. In many areas we have only one chance to think holistically as Europeans and to work together as such.” Wolf underscored the pioneering role Eucor – The European Campus plays in cross-border university cooperations also in the context of French president Emmanual Macron’s Europe speech in which he demanded the founding of 20 European universities.

Lilla Merabet from the Region Grand Est, to which count Alsace and Lorraine, emphasized that the scientific network and cooperation with Germany, Luxemburg, Switzerland and Belgium is a top priority. The “most European of all French border areas”, the Region Grand Est, plays a trendsetting role in order to further strengthen and promote the cohesion and cooperation of cross-border scientific projects. “We can only be a strong Europe together,” she said.

With its model project as the first European university in the Upper Rhine, Eucor – The European Campus is moving forward with great vision and is already working concretely on research and teaching without borders in Europe, a concept that French President Emmanuel Macron demanded in his important address to Europe. “Especially in times of Brexit, Europe requires a renewed vision and concrete ideas for the European economic area,” said Prof. Dr. Hans-Jochen Schiewer, President of Eucor – The European Campus and Rector for the University of Freiburg. “As the first European consortium for territorial academic cooperation, we are able to take on a trailblazing role to establish the very first European university and to enable European instruction and research without borders. Cross-border networks are a logical step to ensure Europe’s long-term competitive edge in attracting the world’s best researchers and students.”

During the event, politicians and representatives from various European university cooperations discussed the particular challenges that universities have in cross-border areas. In particular, they addressed the issue of including policy-making in the process of reducing administrative barriers.

The event was hosted by the State of Baden-Württemberg together with its regional partners in Spain, Grand Est in France and the Grand Duchy of Luxemburg. Additional partners on the university level included Eucor – The European Campus, the university associations Campus Iberus, the University of the Greater Region as well as the University of Pau. The event was carried out with the support of Interreg VA project Tri-National Metropolitan Region (TMO) in the Upper Rhine.

About Eucor – The European Campus

The European Consortium for Territorial Cooperation (EVTZ) Eucor – The European Campus arose out of a longstanding cooperation amongst universities in the Upper Rhine region. In December 2015 five member universities – the University of Basel, the University of Freiburg, the University of Haute-Alsace, the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) and the University of Strasbourg – signed the founding documents to give cross-border research and teaching its own legal identity. The universities thereby created the first EVTZ amongst universities on the European level. The European Campus concentrates in particular on research in the areas of quantum physics and quantum technology, precision medicine, sustainability sciences and cultural studies.

Altogether the EVTZ combines the skills and potential of 15,000 researchers, 11,000 doctoral students as well as 115,000 students. The university consortium Eucor – The European Campus seeks to mutually build a clearly defined scientific and research epicenter without walls and borders and with an international flair.

Mr. Janosch Nieden
Director of the Coordinating Office for Eucor – The European Campus EVTZ
Tel: +33 (0)3 68 85 82 93