Over 450 educational, cultural and scientific organisations and representatives from 30 European countries have endorsed the Our Shared European Future recommendations, made to EU and UK leaders in early July 2017. These recommendations seek to advise Brexit negotiators and provide important information about the implications for the education, culture and science sectors across Europe. Over the last year, the British Council has brought together more than 500 organisations from 32 countries by organising events across the continent to make much-needed dialogue possible.
Prominent scientists and artists, including Professor Brian Cox, Sir David Chipperfield, Mark Wallinger, Claudie Haigneré and Professor Iain Stewart, have also given their support.
Some of the notable organisations endorsing the recommendations include the Creative Industries Federation, British Museum, Tate, Victoria and Albert Museum, Fondation Alliance Francaise, Uni-Italia, European Students’ Union, Sofia International Film Festival, National Gallery Prague, European Union Youth Orchestra, International School of Athens, European Cultural Foundation and CERN. You can view the full list of endorsing organisations below.
Recommendations to EU and UK leaders
1. Residency rights
EU and UK leaders are urged to guarantee post-Brexit residency for EU nationals currently operating in the UK, and British nationals working in other EU countries.
2. Ease of movement
The education, culture and science sectors are by nature international and mobile. Their success, and the success of many other sectors, depends significantly on the ease of movement of its people and assets. The economies of European countries and society as a whole currently benefits extensively from the sectors’ flow of ideas, creativity and talent. For example, the UK’s higher education sector relies heavily on 31,000 non-British EU workers that currently contribute to its success. We therefore advise EU and UK leaders to:
- a. Negotiate a post-Brexit agreement for the education, culture, science and research sectors that does not inhibit their vital ease of movement, but rather, seeks to enhance and facilitate it.
- b. If absolutely necessary, introduce measures, such as ‘cultural and educational permits’, that enable people and assets operating in the education, culture, science and research sectors to continue moving with ease between the UK and other EU countries. These measures should be low-cost, rapid-to-process and applied for adequate periods, to encourage continued collaboration and partnership.
3. Continued and enhanced participation in multilateral programmes
The monetary and non-monetary benefits to European societies and economies emanating from EU-funded programmes, such as Erasmus+, Horizon 2020, Marie Sklodowska-Curie Actions and Creative Europe, are major. We urge EU and UK leaders to ensure UK institutions and individuals remain eligible to access these and future multilateral framework programmes. We equally recommend that the UK government makes appropriate financial contributions to ensure their continued effectiveness and impact.
4. Young Europeans and future generations
We call on UK and other European leaders to give serious consideration to empowering and engaging young people as effective agents of positive change. If Europe is to prosper, young people must be able to play a meaningful part in shaping what will be their futures. We therefore urge EU and UK leaders to proactively engage youth in Brexit policy-making. Furthermore, we urge European leaders to ensure every young person in the UK and other European countries gains inter-cultural and international experience, either through study, work, performances, research, academia, training, language learning or other programmes or exchanges. Such experiences are proven to develop skills, create opportunities, broaden horizons, and build much-needed trust and understanding between nations.
5. Intellectual property, qualifications and regulatory framework
EU and UK leaders should continue to cooperate over UK-EU intellectual property issues and regulation, which is particularly important in enabling cultural, scientific and educational bodies both in the UK and in EU countries to capitalise on creativity, ideas and talent. We also urge EU and UK leaders to maintain standards of recognition of professional qualifications between the UK and the remaining 27 EU member states in the fields of education, culture, science and research.
6. Informed decision-making
We urge EU and UK leaders to work with representatives from the education, culture and science sectors in the UK and in EU Europe throughout Brexit negotiations in order to shape future pan-European cooperation, which will benefit us all.