The Guild fully supports the Scientific Council of the ERC
The Guild expresses its full support to the European Research Council (ERC), following its request made on 27 March for Prof. Mauro Ferrari to resign as President of the ERC. Any President of the ERC must prioritise the ERC’s important mission, and the Scientific Council must ensure that the President maintains the full trust of the scientific community. Asking the current President to resign is a step that has not been taken lightly by the ERC’s Scientific Council, but the reasons set out in its statement fully support its actions. We thank the members of the Scientific Council for fulfilling their mandate with responsibility and clarity.
At the same time, we applaud the European Commission, and other EU policy makers (including Christian Ehler, MEP) for standing up for the Scientific Council’s actions, and the ERC’s remit and its independence. The Commission has been persistent in its support for the ERC as a ‘jewel in the crown’ of European research, and we thank Commissioner Mariya Gabriel and Director-General Jean-Eric Paquet for their steadfast commitment to the particular mission of the ERC.
The European Commission has mobilised resources quickly and unbureaucratically in the fight against COVID-19, across the range of funding instruments in Horizon 2020. We remain confident that the Commission is doing everything in its power to strengthen cross-border science so that we are equipped to dealing with overcoming COVID-19, and prepared for future cross-border threats to our societies.
The frontier-led research supported by the ERC is essential to fighting our major scientific and societal challenges. ERC-funded researchers have been integral to helping Europe to confront the virus and respond to other scientific and societal challenges and providing solutions for tomorrow. It is essential for the ERC to continue as the world-leading funder for bottom-up frontier-research, to strengthen Europe’s long-term scientific resilience.
The Guild Board of Directors:
Vincent Blondel, Chair of The Guild, Rector of UCLouvain
Eva Åkesson, Vice-Chair of The Guild, Vice-Chancellor of Uppsala University
Anton Muscatelli, Board member of The Guild, Principal and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Glasgow
Svein Stølen, Board member of The Guild, Rector of the University of Oslo
8 April 2020