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Parliamentary questions
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17 February 2020
Answer given by Vice-President Borrell
on behalf of the European Commission
Question reference: E-004161/2019

1. The European Union is aware of instances of restrictions on academic freedom. Discussions between EU institutions and Member States are ongoing. The Commission is in the process of organising the 5th High-Level People-to-People Dialogue (HPPD), expected to take place in Brussels in the first half of 2020. The HPPD is a good forum to raise these issues at highest level.

2. Education remains primarily a Member State competence. The Commission can share experience of EU cooperation with China as well as outline the main challenges, with the aim to develop a consistent approach towards cooperation with China. However, concrete actions will have to be implemented by Member States.

The Commission is among the 48 members of the intergovernmental Bologna Process, and participates actively in its Task Force on fundamental academic values. This Task Force is currently working on a common European definition on academic freedom, as part of the preparation for the next Bologna Ministerial Conference in Rome in June 2020.

3. The imbalance in mobility flows concerns in particular long-term secondments of postdoc researchers under the Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions of the Horizon 2020 programme. This imbalance is linked to several factors, including immigration procedures, integration dynamics in the local research community, access to Chinese funding and access to data.

Last updated: 17 February 2020Legal notice - Privacy policy