CDEFI puts forward 9 propositions for the 2022 French Presidency of the Council of the European Union

On 1st January 2022, France took over the Presidency of the Council of the European Union for six months. This presidency gives the opportunity for French higher education and research to step up and assert its ambitions in Europe. 

Relying on their European outlook, French schools of engineering are taking part in this initiative, the same way they have been involved these last years in the higher education and research European programs.

While Europe is facing major social and strategic challenges, as well as sovereignty issues, especially from a technological point of view, French schools of engineering target to learn from these past experiences to go further and to promote a common and ambitious vision of Engineering training, and more broadly of higher education and research in Europe

The French Presidency of the Council of the EU must be used by the French schools of engineering as a way of emphasising the French engineering training model that is based on a continuum between education-research-innovation and companies. A second objective is to take part in the making of a strong and embedded European Higher Education Area, built on shared values (such as democracy, multilingualism, inclusiveness and academic freedom), dedicated to the European youth and serving a sustainable, responsible and economic development.

From there, and with the conviction that engineers have a central role to play in the development of a more leading, sustainable and united Europe, CDEFI puts forward nine propositions organised according to the three key topics of the Presidency: revival, potency and the sense of belonging.
1. Promoting apprenticeship in Europe as a way of excellence, social inclusion and successful professional integration / employability, by supporting the creation of a dedicated European area based on a European Apprentice status allowing mobilities within the EU without funding shortfalls.

2. Reinforcing the role of internship as an integral and recognised part of training (through academic credits), by defining a European Intern status in addition to a single convention allowing inter-companies and inter-higher education institutions mobility.

3. Promoting a culture of entrepreneurship within Europe, by extending the existing proceeding of the PEPITE initiative (the Student Entrepreneur status for instance) in order to foster creativity and mobility of talents. 

4. Creating representative offices for alliances and other European networks of higher education and research institutions in key countries and areas for the EU foreign policy. These countries and areas would be selected through a dedicated call for interest inspired by what the Enrich initiative (European Network of research and innovation centres and hubs) of the Horizon 2020 programme.

5. Encouraging student graduate mobility and getting past exchange mobility to reinforce the EU citizenship, sense of belonging and employability. 

6. Establishing a legal framework on academic freedom.

7. Stimulating an evolution in research assessment modalities in Europe that would consider every aspect of scientific production, work towards a qualitative evaluation and take better account of science openness efforts towards society. 

8. Creating a European teaching workforce based on the ERC model.

9. Prioritising inclusiveness issues by opening European mobility programmes to students, researchers and teachers refugees. 

The detailed propositions can be found here.

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