Europe is no longer the centre of the world. Without investing in science and innovation we won't become central again. We won't find the opportunities for the future
Commissioner Carlos Moedas
Commissioner Moedas held a Citizens' Dialogue at the University of Copenhagen in Denmark on topics such as mission-oriented science, student mobility and life-long learning in technical skills.
Participants showed great interest and support for the idea of mission-oriented research and innovation, which Commissioner Moedas presented as the way to regain the link between science and citizens. One participant suggested that the ultimate 'mission' should be to achieve the UN goals on sustainable development.
The discussion then moved to issues surrounding education, with one participant suggesting to improve life-long learning in innovation as there is a big need for technical skills in Europe. Another participant highlighted the need for more flexible education, or "flexication".
On student mobility, one citizen pointed out that, although the EU mobility schemes work very well, the new generations "want to pick and choose from different options around the world, not just study at one single university". This citizen underlined that many obstacles still persist on this topic, and wanted to know how the EU can help to overcome them.
The Dialogue concluded with some participants questioning the way Europe is dealing with innovative ideas. "We have a lot of ideas in Europe. Why are we losing out to the Americans and the Chinese? How can we make Europe attractive to scale those ideas?", asked one professor, while another participant added: "Innovators and start-ups are faced with a very difficult reality. One way of not losing them to Silicon Valley would be to create a bigger market for them and reduce bureaucracy."