The Guild and other organizations urge the EC to assess the impact of community regulations on research and higher education

The letter addressed to the European executive warns of the additional costs that universities may incur to adapt to the regulations of the new Digital Services Act.

A group of eight key public research and higher education organizations have sent an open letter to Ilze Juhansone , secretary-general of the European Commission, urging improved efforts to integrate the needs and concerns of the world of research and higher education into Commission directives. The Guild , the alliance that includes 22 research-intensive universities, including Pompeu Fabra University, is one of the signatories, along with the European University Association and Knowledge Rights 21, among others.

The statement voices that regulations and directives with far-reaching consequences for universities, research centres and the people working in them are "too often" presented without considering these implications. "Failing to take measures to change this means that Europe will harm its researchers, students, innovators, and citizens in general", the message addressed to the Commission asserts.

As an example, the statement highlights that the Digital Services Act affects the economic sustainability of public organizations, as it does not exempt them from obligations designed to prevent the dominant market position of commercial platforms: "The use of digital deposits by the centres is intended solely to support their research and teaching activities", it assures.

The letter proposes concrete steps, including a review of the Union’s Innovation Principle, which is currently focused only on private-sector research, as well as an update of its impact assessment tools and more effective outreach both between the European Commission services and to stakeholders. Finally, it urges swift action to correct the uncertainties caused by recent legislation.

The statement includes remarks from Ole Petter Ottersen , secretary-general of The Guild, who emphasizes the need to assess ex ante the negative effects that the European regulations may have on universities: "Research and education must be taken into account in the face of new legislative proposals, as new the laws and regulations can have untoward and unexpected effects on universities".