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Timeline and future developments - European Universities initiative

The European Universities initiative has been developed through cooperation between higher education institutions, student organisations, national governments from EU countries and the European Commission.

As a result of such high support, the initiative is now an integral part of the Erasmus+ 2021-2027 programme. European Universities are selected through Erasmus+ calls for proposals.

Read more about EU financial support for the European Universities Initiative.



European Council calls for the emergence by 2024 of European universities in its Council conclusions


European Commission publishes first call for proposals for European Universities


First 17 European Universities alliances become operational


41 European Universities alliances are active


Council Conclusions on the European Universities reiterate support for the European Universities



50 European Universities alliances are active

The future of the European Universities initiative


The initiative's aim is to reach 60 European Universities involving about 500 higher education institutions from all parts of Europe.

The Erasmus+ programme will support a policy experimentation project aimed at cooperation between the national and regional authorities on

  • creating a supporting administrative and regulatory environment for European Universities and other similar long-standing institutionalised cooperation models
  • funding European Universities at national/regional level, as a complement to the grants received at European level

2026 - 2027

Call for proposal to ensure sustainable funding for alliances up to 2028-2029

After the European strategy for universities was adopted, the Commission services started working with European Universities alliances, other higher education stakeholder organisations and the EU countries on an investment pathway for European Universities alliances beyond 2028-2029.

This work aims at facilitating a comprehensive funding approach, complementing the educational dimension with support across all alliances’ missions – including research and innovation – for wider societal benefit. It also aims to seek synergies with national and regional funding.

The investment pathway for European Universities is currently under development, involving all relevant actors.