SAR Europe urges DROI to highlight the importance of academic freedom for democracy in the world

In advance of the completion of their annual human rights report, SAR Europe urges the European Parliament Subcommittee on Human Rights (DROI) to highlight the importance of academic freedom for democracy in the world, and to continue to ensure that the European Union does everything in its power to protect and promote this right.

SAR Europe strongly encouraged the European Parliament to prioritise and support efforts to protect and promote academic freedom, including via the upcoming Report, as follows:

  • Reiterate concern regarding increased violations of academic freedom and the censorship and imprisonment of scholars worldwide, which have important consequences for the right to education, the enjoyment of the benefits of scientific progress and the freedom of opinion and expression, including the freedom to seek, receive and impart information; calling on Member State and EU Delegations to play a key role in monitoring and reporting on violations of academic freedom in third countries.
  • Highlight the EU-funded MSCA4 Ukraine fellowship scheme as a lifeline for researchers from Ukraine, and the EU-funded Inspireurope+ to coordinate and strengthen support in Europe for researchers at risk. Highlight the European Commission’s intention to fund a pilot European Fellowship Scheme to support researchers at risk, through the 2023 annual work programme for the implementation of pilot projects and preparatory actions in the area of education, youth, sport and culture, and its efforts to assist at-risk scholars worldwide.
  • Support the Joint Statement on Academic Freedom delivered at the 52nd Session of the Human Rights Council and supported by all Member States.
  • Support the development of the draft Principles for Implementing the Right of Academic Freedom, which can provide useful guidance to United Nations mechanisms, States, and other stakeholders. Call for the EU and its Member States to promote the adoption of guidelines on academic freedom within the UN system.

Read the full brief here.

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