I voted in favour of the Resolution on the Defence of academic freedom in the EU’s external action because I believe that the right of equal access to education is a basic one that should be accessible to all. The same applies as regards the right for academic freedom, an essential part of any European democratic society.

Further, I support EU funding directed towards academic entities that contribute towards the development of the different countries and societies, EU Member States, as well as third countries outside the EU.

Still, the EU and its entities should adopt a uniform, fact based and non-selective approach when it comes to criticising the non-respect of fundamental principles attached to educational and academic freedom.

Nor is it so useful to adopt the approach of naming and shaming countries within such a broad context. That is likely to produce counter productive results.

The EU’s position on the matter should be a coherent one, equal to all countries, objective and minimally intrusive. The focus should be to identify systemic failures in the respect of academic freedom.

The wellbeing of students and academics, no matter their place of origin, should be the prime aim of any EU level action.

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