SAR Europe at the European Parliament Conference on Academic Freedom

The European Parliament Forum for Academic Freedom, launched in 2022, held its second conference on 29 November 2023 on “Academic Freedom – The state of a fundamental value for Europe”. The conference addressed a series of important discussions focusing on the relationship between democracy and academic freedom, the monitoring of academic freedom within the Member States of the EU, as well as legal protections for academic freedom. Much political weight was brought to the proceedings as Roberta Metsola, President of the European Parliament gave the introductory remarks, while Iliana Ivanova, EU Commissioner of Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth, provided the keynote.


“It is only when academics and researchers are free to pursue their own projects, their own initiatives, that the result of their work is truly ground breaking and innovative”,

President of European Parliament, Roberta Metsola


SAR Europe’s Advocacy Manager, Denise Roche, participated in a panel discussion dedicated to the topic of ‘European support for Researchers at Risk’. She highlighted current pressures on academic freedom, and the ongoing work to support researchers at risk. She was joined in discussions by Claire Morel, European Commission DG EAC, Head of Unit, Ferenc Hammer, Associate Professor, ELTE University, Budapest / Elkana Fellow, The New Institute, Hamburg. MSCA4Ukraine awardee Dr. Anton Kurapov explained how the MSCA4Ukraine fellowship has helped him to advance his research on promoting better sleep amongst Ukrainians in the context of the full-scale invasion. The conversation was moderated by Robert-Jan Smits, President of the Executive Board of Eindhoven University of Technology.

SAR Europe would like to extend our thanks to the STOA panel for organising the important event, for establishing the Forum and for ensuring that threats to scholars and academic freedom are in receipt of this type of high-level attention.

Watch the panel discussion on “European support for Researchers at Risk” here.

Watch the whole conference here.


About the European Parliament Forum for Academic Freedom

The European Parliament Forum for Academic Freedom is an initiative of STOA – the European Parliament Panel for the Future of Science and Technology.  It was launched on 28 November 2022. The Forum aims to hold an annual conference on academic freedom, and to support the development of an annual Academic Freedom Monitor that focuses on the state of play of academic freedom within the 27 EU Member States. Learn more about the European Parliament Forum for Academic Freedom here.

Conferences on Academic Freedom held by STOA

STOA conference ‘How to provide enforceable protection for academic freedom at EU level?’, 28 November 2022 here.

STOA conference ‘Academic Freedom – The state of a fundamental value for Europe’, 29 November 2023 here.

Reports on Academic Freedom commissioned by STOA

“State of play of academic freedom in the EU member states: Overview of de facto trends and developments”, (23 March 2023) can be found here.

“How academic freedom is monitored – Overview of methods and procedures”, (22 March 2023), can be found here.





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