BETA


2018/2117(INI) Defence of academic freedom in the EU's external action. Recommendation to the Vice President/High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy

Progress: Procedure completed

RoleCommitteeRapporteurShadows
Lead AFET KHAN Wajid (icon: S&D S&D) BOCSKOR Andrea (icon: PPE PPE), TANNOCK Timothy Charles Ayrton (icon: ECR ECR), KYUCHYUK Ilhan (icon: ALDE ALDE), BUCHNER Klaus (icon: Verts/ALE Verts/ALE), CASTALDO Fabio Massimo (icon: EFDD EFDD)
Lead committee dossier:
Legal Basis:
RoP 118

Events

2018/11/29
   EP - Results of vote in Parliament
2018/11/29
   EP - Decision by Parliament
Details

The European Parliament adopted by421 votes to 97, with 111 abstentions, a resolution on a European Parliament recommendation to the Council, the Commission and the Vice-President of the Commission / High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy on Defence of academic freedom in the EU’s external action.

In the light of the recommendation concerning the status of higher education teaching personnel adopted in 1997 by the General Conference of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) and the Lima Declaration on Academic Freedom and Autonomy of Higher Education Institutions, Parliament considered that democracy cannot exist without academic freedom, the definition of which should be based on fundamental democratic values, the possibility of critical and independent thinking, institutional autonomy and social responsibility; that democracy cannot exist without academic freedom.

The academic community and educational institutions are increasingly vulnerable to interference, pressure or repression from states, the business sector or other non-state actors.

However, autonomy is a necessary precondition for education institutions to fulfil their proper functions. Academic freedom requires constant and vigilant protection from undue pressure from the State or commercial interests.

Accordingly, Parliament made the following recommendations to the Council, the Commission and the Vice-President of the Commission / High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy:

explicitly recognise the importance of academic freedom in public statements and policies relating to the EU’s external action, including recognition of the principles that ideas are not crimes and that critical discourse is not disloyalty, but rather essential parts of a democratic society; recall that academic freedom extends to the freedom of academics to disseminate information and conduct research and distribute knowledge without restriction , the freedom to express their views and opinions ­– even if controversial or unpopular – in the areas of their research and professional expertise, publicly highlight the problems of attacks on academic freedom, including their negative consequences and recall the responsibility of states to guarantee academic freedom; ensure that EU institutions and Member States’ representatives visiting third countries are briefed on the situation of academic freedom; support equal access to the academic community, regardless of ethnicity, caste, disability, nationality, religious belief, sexual orientation or other status; raise academic freedom at different levels of political dialogue , including in human rights dialogues and consultations with partner countries, and step up diplomatic efforts with partner countries through bilateral and multilateral engagement in relation to incidents of concern ; encourage all states to do as most EU Member States have already done and endorse and implement the Safe Schools Declaration and its accompanying Guidelines for Protecting Schools and Universities from Military Use during Armed Conflict; work with the UN, the Council of Europe, international agencies, civil society and higher education communities to create mechanisms for monitoring and reporting attacks, threats and undue restrictions on higher education and individual scholars; encourage regular dialogue with university communities , in order to develop the best policy frameworks, initiatives and advocacy strategies for academic freedom; foster work on research and advocacy aimed at reforming legislation imposing undue restrictions on academic freedom, and promote institutional autonomy; revisit existing protection mechanisms for human rights defenders to provide assistance, including through physical protection, legal and visa support, medical support, trial and prison monitoring, advocacy and lobbying, and long-term support during exile; promote the existing projects financed by the EU, such as the ‘ Academic Refuge ’, which strive to raise greater awareness of the importance of academic freedom in the higher education sector; ensure that the EU’s macro-financial assistance programmes for third countries and the policies of European financial institutions do not undermine academic freedom by supporting policies that reduce the allocation of national income to the education sector; create new initiatives within existing and future programmes ­such as the Instrument for Pre-Accession (IPA III), Horizon 2020, Erasmus+ and the Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions, for new EU-funded programme actions to support the placement of at-risk academics.

Documents
2018/11/29
   EP - End of procedure in Parliament
2018/11/28
   EP - Debate in Parliament
2018/11/27
   EP - Committee report tabled for plenary
Details

The Committee on Foreign Affairs adopted the own-initiative report by Wajid KHAN (S&D, UK) on a European Parliament recommendation to the Council, the Commission and the Vice-President of the Commission / High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy on Defence of academic freedom in the EU’s external action.

According to UNESCO, academic freedom is defined as the right, without constriction by prescribed doctrine , to freedom of teaching and discussion, freedom in carrying out research and disseminating and publishing the results thereof, freedom to express freely their opinion about the institution or system in which they work, freedom from institutional censorship and freedom to participate in professional or representative academic bodies.

The academic community and educational institutions are increasingly vulnerable to interference, pressure or repression from states, the business sector or other non-state actors.

However, autonomy is a necessary precondition for education institutions to fulfil their proper functions. Academic freedom requires constant and vigilant protection from undue pressure from the State or commercial interests.

In view of this, the report recommends that the Council, the Commission and the Vice-President of the Commission/High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy:

explicitly recognise the importance of academic freedom in public statements, policies and actions relating to the EU’s external action, including recognition of the principles that ideas are not crimes and that critical discourse is not disloyalty, but rather essential parts of a democratic society and its development, that the autonomy of education institutions should be protected at all times; recognise that claims to academic freedom fall under existing human rights law , derived from the right to education and the rights to freedom of expression and of opinion; demonstrate support for the institutions, staff and students that are at risk or have been the victims of coercion or violent attacks and publicly condemn such attacks, by raising the issue at all levels; support equal access to the academic community , regardless of ethnicity, caste, disability, nationality, religious belief, gender identity, sexual orientation or other status; highlight that attacks on academic freedom can also take the form of cyberattacks; raise academic freedom at different levels of political dialogue , including in human rights dialogues and consultations with partner countries; encourage all states to do as most EU Member States have already done and endorse and implement the Safe Schools Declaration and its accompanying Guidelines for Protecting Schools and Universities from Military Use during Armed Conflict; work with the UN, the Council of Europe, international agencies, civil society and higher education communities to create mechanisms for monitoring and reporting attacks, threats and undue restrictions on higher education; engage and encourage regular dialogue with university communities and organisations whose mission it is to protect higher education communities and promote academic freedom, in order to develop the best policy frameworks, initiatives and advocacy strategies for academic freedom; contribute to the development of capacities for prompt, thorough and transparent investigations of violations of academic freedom : step up diplomatic efforts with partner countries through bilateral and multilateral engagement in relation to incidents of concern involving threats or attacks on academic freedom; revisit existing support and protection mechanisms for human rights defenders to develop the capacity to identify and provide assistance, including emergency protection and support; ensure that the EU’s macro-financial assistance programmes for third countries and the policies of European financial institutions do not undermine academic freedom by supporting policies that reduce the allocation of national income to the education sector; create new initiatives within existing and future programmes – possibly as synergies developed and funded by the Union through its non-education and research budgets, for new EU-funded programme actions to support the placement of at-risk academics, student researchers and full degree students with international protection status in European higher education and research institutions; support ongoing normative efforts at regional and international level, including through the adoption of an international declaration on academic freedom and the autonomy of higher education institutions; encourages the EU and its Member States to take initiative on academic freedom at the UN Human Rights Council.

Documents
2018/11/21
   EP - Vote in committee
2018/10/16
   EP - Amendments tabled in committee
Documents
2018/09/10
   EP - Committee draft report
Documents
2018/06/14
   EP - Committee referral announced in Parliament
2018/05/03
   EP - KHAN Wajid (S&D) appointed as rapporteur in AFET

Documents

Votes

A8-0403/2018 - Wajid Khan - Am 2/1 29/11/2018 12:24:18.000 #

2018/11/29 Outcome: +: 491, -: 74, 0: 59
DE IT ES FR RO BE SE HU NL PT BG GB CZ IE AT FI HR SI SK DK EL LT LV CY MT EE LU PL ??
Total
79
56
43
58
27
21
20
18
24
17
15
58
18
10
18
10
9
8
10
11
14
8
7
6
5
5
3
44
1
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A8-0403/2018 - Wajid Khan - Am 2/2 29/11/2018 12:24:30.000 #

2018/11/29 Outcome: +: 341, -: 236, 0: 41
IT BE SE IE FI ES NL DK PT DE EE MT FR LT EL CZ AT ?? GB RO CY BG LU HR SI PL HU LV SK
Total
57
21
19
10
10
41
24
11
17
80
6
5
56
8
14
17
17
1
58
27
6
15
3
9
8
44
16
6
11
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A8-0403/2018 - Wajid Khan - Am 1/1 29/11/2018 12:24:52.000 #

2018/11/29 Outcome: +: 505, -: 104, 0: 14
DE IT ES FR RO BE HU SE PT CZ NL BG IE AT FI SI EL HR DK SK LT LV EE MT CY LU GB ?? PL
Total
78
57
42
57
26
21
18
20
17
18
24
15
10
18
10
8
14
9
11
11
8
7
5
5
6
3
59
1
44
icon: PPE PPE
178

Finland PPE

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A8-0403/2018 - Wajid Khan - Am 1/2 29/11/2018 12:25:03.000 #

2018/11/29 Outcome: +: 355, -: 229, 0: 30
IT BE ES SE DE IE NL PT FR FI DK MT GB EE LT EL CY RO ?? BG CZ HR AT LU PL SI LV SK HU
Total
56
21
42
20
79
10
24
17
53
10
11
5
57
5
8
13
6
26
1
15
18
9
17
3
44
7
7
11
18
icon: S&D S&D
160

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A8-0403/2018 - Wajid Khan - Am 1/3 29/11/2018 12:25:17.000 #

2018/11/29 Outcome: +: 486, 0: 81, -: 32
DE IT ES FR GB RO HU PL SE BE CZ PT BG NL AT IE HR FI EL LT DK SI SK LV CY MT EE LU ??
Total
73
55
42
53
57
27
18
44
19
19
17
16
15
23
17
10
9
9
14
8
11
7
10
6
6
5
4
3
1
icon: PPE PPE
179

Finland PPE

2

Greece PPE

1

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1

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155

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icon: ALDE ALDE
50

Germany ALDE

2

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1

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1

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1

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1

Slovenia Verts/ALE

For (1)

1

Luxembourg Verts/ALE

For (1)

1
icon: GUE/NGL GUE/NGL
40

Italy GUE/NGL

2

United Kingdom GUE/NGL

1

Sweden GUE/NGL

For (1)

1

Portugal GUE/NGL

For (1)

3

Netherlands GUE/NGL

3

Finland GUE/NGL

For (1)

1

Denmark GUE/NGL

For (1)

1

Cyprus GUE/NGL

2
icon: EFDD EFDD
37

Germany EFDD

Abstain (1)

1

Poland EFDD

1

Czechia EFDD

Abstain (1)

1

Lithuania EFDD

For (1)

1
icon: ECR ECR
59

Italy ECR

2

Romania ECR

For (1)

Abstain (1)

2

Sweden ECR

2

Czechia ECR

2

Bulgaria ECR

2

Netherlands ECR

2

Croatia ECR

Abstain (1)

1

Finland ECR

1

Greece ECR

For (1)

1

Lithuania ECR

Abstain (1)

1

Denmark ECR

2

Slovakia ECR

2

Latvia ECR

Abstain (1)

1

Cyprus ECR

Abstain (1)

1
icon: NI NI
15

Germany NI

Against (1)

2

United Kingdom NI

3

Hungary NI

For (1)

1

Denmark NI

1

NI

For (1)

1
icon: ENF ENF
24

Germany ENF

Abstain (1)

1
4

Poland ENF

2

Belgium ENF

Against (1)

1

Netherlands ENF

4

Austria ENF

3

A8-0403/2018 - Wajid Khan - Recommandation 29/11/2018 12:26:01.000 #

2018/11/29 Outcome: +: 421, 0: 111, -: 97
IT DE ES GB FR BE SE NL RO PT IE FI BG CZ DK HR AT EL MT LU LV EE LT SI CY SK ?? HU PL
Total
57
79
43
58
59
21
20
24
27
17
10
10
15
18
11
9
18
14
5
4
7
5
8
8
6
11
1
18
45
icon: S&D S&D
163

Netherlands S&D

3

Ireland S&D

For (1)

1

Finland S&D

1

Czechia S&D

3

Denmark S&D

2

Croatia S&D

2

Malta S&D

2

Latvia S&D

1

Estonia S&D

For (1)

1

Lithuania S&D

1

Slovenia S&D

For (1)

1

Cyprus S&D

2
icon: ALDE ALDE
58

Germany ALDE

3

United Kingdom ALDE

1

Romania ALDE

Abstain (1)

1

Portugal ALDE

1

Ireland ALDE

For (1)

1

Bulgaria ALDE

3

Croatia ALDE

For (1)

1

Austria ALDE

For (1)

1

Luxembourg ALDE

For (1)

1

Latvia ALDE

1

Estonia ALDE

2

Slovenia ALDE

For (1)

1
icon: PPE PPE
183

United Kingdom PPE

1

Finland PPE

2

Denmark PPE

For (1)

1

Croatia PPE

For (1)

4

Greece PPE

1

Luxembourg PPE

2

Latvia PPE

For (1)

3

Estonia PPE

Abstain (1)

1

Lithuania PPE

Abstain (1)

1

Cyprus PPE

Abstain (1)

1
6
icon: Verts/ALE Verts/ALE
43

Spain Verts/ALE

2

France Verts/ALE

3

Belgium Verts/ALE

2

Netherlands Verts/ALE

2

Finland Verts/ALE

For (1)

1

Denmark Verts/ALE

For (1)

1

Croatia Verts/ALE

For (1)

1

Austria Verts/ALE

3

Luxembourg Verts/ALE

For (1)

1

Latvia Verts/ALE

1

Estonia Verts/ALE

For (1)

1

Lithuania Verts/ALE

For (1)

1

Slovenia Verts/ALE

For (1)

1

Hungary Verts/ALE

2
icon: GUE/NGL GUE/NGL
42

Italy GUE/NGL

2

United Kingdom GUE/NGL

1

Sweden GUE/NGL

For (1)

1

Netherlands GUE/NGL

3

Portugal GUE/NGL

For (1)

4

Finland GUE/NGL

For (1)

1

Denmark GUE/NGL

For (1)

1

Cyprus GUE/NGL

2
icon: ECR ECR
57

Italy ECR

2

Germany ECR

For (1)

Against (1)

5

Sweden ECR

2