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T4EU in Brussels – summary and photo report

21-22 February 2024 | Brussels


The T4EU Alliance met on 21-22 February 2024 in Brussels, and engaged in several group discussions.

Our participation kicked off on 21 February 2024 with the roundtable meeting featuring a report on Outreach Strategies for Universities, aimed at exploring universities’ potential for global outreach in sustainable transformation. The meeting was organised by Universidade Católica Portuguesa, the T4EU leader in this regard, and featured Bernardo Ivo Cruz, Portugal Secretary of State for International Trade and Foreign Investment; Amanda Crowfoot, Secretary General of the European Universities Association; Jean Ehret, Professor from the Luxembourg School of Religion & Society; Bryan Wells, NATO Chief Scientist; and Alexandre Affre, Deputy Director General of BusinessEurope.

The discussions concerned crucial aspects such as student skills, research endeavours, and knowledge transfer. It therefore laid the groundwork for comprehensive and insightful dialogues with openness, collaboration, and community engagement identified as pivotal factors in achieving sustainable transformation goals, highlighting the aspects of Microcredentials, Industrial PhDs, Life Long Learning and Research Security.

The other meeting took place on 22 February 2024 and started with a presentation by Prof. Tomasz Pietrzykowski (University of Silesia), underscoring the objectives related to Legal Entity, followed by a keynote speech by Alexandra Hemprich, PhD (Saarland University) explaining the transition of the legal form of the UniGR from an association under national law to the European Grouping of Territorial Cooperation created by the EU law. Afterwards, the student team from the University of Silesia offered the results of an informal scan of options chosen by different universities, funded by the Erasmus+ call and parallel initiatives.

In the concluding part, Prof. Tomasz Pietrzykowski explained two possible solutions that need to be included in further considerations: a recently launched European Commission proposal of a new directive introducing a new figure to EU law, and the Slovenian law that provides for the institution of an international association of universities that could potentially be useful for the Alliance’s purposes.

All in all, the meetings yielded significant outcomes, and our representatives have been given insightful remarks for the Alliance’s strategic trajectory in its outreach efforts.


The Outreach Strategies for Universities event, organised by Universidade Católica Portuguesa, not only proved to be an excellent initiative, but also essential for a debate in the context of international collaboration for a better response to the needs of the society of the future. Sharing knowledge between researchers, companies and institutions is becoming imperative in a world increasingly shaped by the quest for rapid and integrated development. With the participation of an excellent panel, the debate covered topics such as matching the skills of young people with the needs of today’s organisations, the challenges associated with creating universities without barriers, which promote the sharing of knowledge among themselves and also serve the local community, as well as the challenges arising from this integration in the current geopolitical context. As an Alumni of Universidade Católica Portuguesa, I am proud to recognise its ongoing commitment to excellence and the internationalisation of the education it offers.

Daniel Filipe Madureira Fonseca

Secretariat of European Parliament, alumnus of Universidade Católica Portuguesa