4EU+ Alliance holds its first Annual Meeting

On 21 and 22 October, Sorbonne University hosted the first 4EU+ Annual Meeting. During the two-day event, the Alliance consolidated its structure and developed its work programme for joint activities in education, research and community building.

The Meeting brought together Rectors, Vice-Rectors and academics engaged in the Flagships’ activities, as well as students and administrative staff involved in the 4EU+ Working Groups. The Annual Meeting enabled everyone to have a truly global vision of what is happening within the Alliance, to define the next steps, and allowed all involved in 4EU+ to take stock of the progress the Alliance has made over the past months.

Monday morning was dedicated to parallel meetings of Rectors, the 4EU+ Steering Committee and Working Groups that reported on their recent activities and presented their work plans at a plenary session. In the afternoon, more than 200 guests gathered in the Grand Salon of Sorbonne. Close to 300 viewers were able to watch the session online via live streaming.

The six Rectors welcomed the participants in their native languages and in English. “It was important for us to stress that while we want to build a European university, [our aim] is not to build uniform Europe, but Europe rich in its diversity and its cultures,” said Jean Chambaz, President of Sorbonne University.

Among the speakers was Prof. Anne-Sophie Barthez Director General for Higher Education & Employability at the French Ministry of Higher Education, Research & Innovation, as well as ambassadors of the Czech Republic (H.E. Petr Drulák), Germany (H.E. Nikolaus Meyer-Landrut), Denmark (H. E. Michael Starbæk Christensen) and Poland (H.E. Tomasz Młynarski). ”There is not one single place of European excellence. You can find European excellence in many places and this project is another demonstration of that,” said Czech Ambassador, Mr Petr Drulák. “Only equal collaboration fulfills the European spirit,“ he added.

The participants could also see video messages from Ms Themis Christophidou, Director General for Education, Culture, Youth and Sport, and Mr Jean-Eric Paquet, Director General for Research and Innovation at the European Commission.

The 4EU+ Progress Report was presented by Prof. Antonella Baldi, Vice-Rector for Internationalisation at the University of Milan. Prof. Milena Králíčková, Vice-Rector for Education at Charles University, introduced the concept of the common 4EU+ educational framework.

Three representatives of the students of 4EU+ universities as well as two representatives of Associated Partners (RICOH and Groupe SOS) spoke about their motivation to engage in 4EU+ activities and shared their expectations of the collaboration within the Alliance.

The second day of the first 4EU+ Annual Meeting was devoted to collaboration within the 4EU+ Flagships. Members of each Flagship Programme Committee held a separate meeting in order to further discuss their organisation and plan activities for the near future.

The 2019 Annual Meeting established the governance of the Alliance. President of Sorbonne University, Prof. Jean Chambaz, was elected the first Chair of the 4EU+ Governing Board. Next year, this position will be assumed by the Rector of Charles University, Prof. Tomáš Zima, with the 2020 Annual Meeting to take place in Prague.

Read the full press release in English (pdf)

More information in other languages:

in Czech

in Danish

in French

in Italian

in German

in Polish

Photo credits: Francois Laffite