Crue celebrates Europe Day asserting the solidarity and role of universities and research in the struggle against COVID-19 pandemic
Madrid, 9th May 2020. Crue Universidades Españolas celebrates Europe Day by issuing a call on all institutions, both national and communitarian, to strengthen and enhance collaboration and solidarity, as well as education and research, as key pillars on which to build a Europe that becomes an example of a place for shared values.
Europe Day commemorates the 9th May 1950 Declaration by Robert Schuman, the then French Minister of Foreign Affairs, in which he proposed the creation of the first supranational European institution (the European Coal and Steel Community); which has led him to be considered one of the fathers of the European Union. Today, 70 years after Schuman affirmed that: 'World peace cannot be safeguarded without the making of creative efforts proportionate to the dangers which threaten it', and amidst the global crisis generated by COVID-19, his words ring truer than ever.
The pandemic that strikes us is not just a health emergency. It also threatens to open up the inequality gap that will affect universities, at both the national and regional levels. These global challenges require both a coordinated, and transnational, response. The crisis has highlighted the need for solidarity and collaborative measures at European and global levels, as well as impactful solutions and critical social outcomes resulting from research and innovation.
Furthermore, academic knowledge, education and research have captured the attention and respect from society as key elements to find reliable solutions to the massive economic and social impact that we face globally. In this situation, universities and research centres continue doing what they have always done: generating and transmitting knowledge through solidarity and collaboration in order to find solutions to social challenges and position themselves as the keystone institutions responding to societal doubts and anxieties generated by COVID-19 pandemic.
In this exceptional situation, it is urgent that the broader civil society organisations and associations, and universities in particular, step up to firmly defend a more united Europe.
In order to reinforce solidarity and transnational collaboration, Crue Universidades Españolas reaffirms our profound European identity and calls for greater solidarity and inclusiveness in Europe, as well as awareness on the fundamental role of education and research as avenues for development. We are committed to continue contributing to national and European policies and to put forward the concerns and requirements of our universities –which are also those of society– so that no one is left behind and we jointly overcome this crisis which has confronted us all.