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The 27th EU-US Summit took place in Washington D.C. on 20 October 2023 to review the transatlantic partnership and to identify areas for further cooperation. The EU-US Summit Joint Statement reaffirmed the parties’ commitment to strengthen their partnership both through the diplomatic and economic channels and by fostering meaningful connections between their people. In this vein, the partners agreed to step up academic cooperation.
The Joint Statement highlights that, collectively representing 800 million citizens, the US and the EU embody a strong partnership rooted in mutual values, economic bonds, and a commitment to positive global change and geopolitical stability. Since the June 2021 Summit, significant global challenges have emerged. These include, for example, Russia’s war against Ukraine and the recent conflict in Gaza. The EU and US are committed to ensuring geopolitical peace and stability. This is evidenced, among other things, by their continued support for Ukraine, a condemnation of Hamas’ attacks against Israel while calling for a two-state solution in the region as a viable path to lasting peace, a commitment to sustainable relationships with China, and efforts towards stronger cooperation with African partners.
A prominent element in the Joint Statement is the aim to connect more students and higher education staff on both sides of the Atlantic. This goal is to be advanced by increasing funding for academic exchanges and working towards visa-free travel between all EU member states and the US.
The European Union will increase its funding to the Erasmus+ programme, and will double EU support to the Fulbright-Schuman programme, and across all Fulbright Commissions in EU Member States. The United States plans to increase its funding to all Fulbright Commissions in EU Member States, including the Fulbright-Schuman programme. This collective support will significantly increase the number of transatlantic academic exchanges between our citizens over the next five years.
Through the collaboration with its US member organisation – the Institute of International Education (IIE) - ACA has been a long-standing supporter of the transatlantic partnership in the academic cooperation field. Back-to-back with thee 2023 edition of the ACA Strategic Summit, which took place in the beginning of October in Brussels (for more details, see ACA Newsletter-Education Europe), IIE and ACA’s German member organisation – the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) - held a by-invitation-only Transatlantic Roundtable discussion on “The Current State of EU-US People to People Exchanges in Higher Education”, the exchanges being continued during ACA’s strategic gathering.