The European University Association (EUA) sees the removal of the option for reimbursement based upon full costing methodologies as being both a step backward and counterproductive with respect to another key policy goal: the modernisation of Europe’s universities, in particular their financial sustainability. “Horizon 2020 as a flagship to enhance Europe’s research and innovation capacities needs to take a lead position here to strengthen European Universities’ competitiveness globally”, he suggested.
At a press conference by Mr Christian Ehler (MEP and Rapporteur on the Horizon 2020 Rules for Participation), the EUA joined Mr Ehler in calling for the retaining of a reimbursement model based on the recognition of full costs in Horizon 2020, the next EU framework programme for research and innovation.
Mr Ehler invited the EUA and EARTO (European Association of Research and Technology Organisations) to express their views on this key issue in the present trialogue-discussions between the European Parliament, Council and the Commission and in advance of the forthcoming Competitiveness Council meeting later this week.
Universities can be trusted
EUA’s Dr John Smith emphasized that the Seventh Framework Programme (FP7) had acted as an important driver for universities to modernize their financial management and encouraged national funders to improve their funding practices.
“If, in the future Horizon 2020, the European Commission would accept nationally recognised costing methodologies and usual institutional accounting practices this would be a major step forward in simplification and a significant reduction of administrative burden for universities participating in the programme. Europe’s universities and their researchers look for a more favourable balance between trust and control.”