EUROPE

EU issues guidelines on foreign interference in research

The European Commission has published a guidebook advising national research organisations and universities on how to deal with foreign interference, as fears over technology espionage from China are heightened and the Western world collectively takes a more cautious approach to science cooperation, writes Florin Zubascu for Science|Business.

The guidelines will help the European Union protect its “fundamental values, key research findings and intellectual assets”, EU research commissioner Mariya Gabriel said. A senior commission official put it more bluntly in a briefing on the guidelines, saying they will help research institutions to block “actions that could put in danger the technological leadership and sovereignty of Europe”.

The Commission recently morphed its motto for international research cooperation from “Open to the world” to “Open strategic autonomy”, as part of a reset that has seen it limit access to EU funding for scientists in countries that flout academic freedom and intellectual property rights. It does not want to stop international collaboration, but says the EU approach should be based on a positive agenda of partnership, coupled with “constructive management” of differences.
Full report on the Science|Business site