The Position of Higher Education Institutions in EU Policy and Law

Abstract The aim of this chapter is to provide an overview of the position of HEIs in European policy (the EU and beyond) and to discuss potential spill-over from directly applicable EU law. It will be shown that the EU hard law framework contains limited competences in devising policies regarding HEIs. Instead, policy is often made through soft law at the EU and European (beyond EU) level. Nevertheless, other provisions of EU law, such as Union citizenship, the free movement provisions and competition law, can, and already have, spilled over into the HEI sector influencing national policy concepts. Ongoing commodification could increase this effect, thereby endangering the traditional non-economic mission of European HEIs.

Keywords EU higher education policy • EU research policy • Diploma recognition • Bologna Process • Lisbon Strategy/Europe 2020 Strategy • Union citizenship • EU free movement law and higher education institutions • Public procurement law and higher education institutions • Spill-over

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