Oct 31, 2018 at 12:00am ET By Joanna Hughes

With negotiations underway regarding the UK’s departure from the EU, many issues remain up in the air. Unwilling to take any chances, the Federation of European Academies of Medicine (FEAM) recently released a statement imploring the EU and the UK to secure medical research cooperation.

A Plea for Ongoing Exchange

FEAM’s mission is to “promote cooperation between national Academies of Medicine and Medical Sections of Academies of Sciences in Europe; to provide them with a platform to formulate their collective voice on matters concerning human and animal medicine, biomedical research, education, and health with a European dimension; and to extend to the European authorities the advisory role that they exercise in their own countries on those matters.”  

The statement expresses hope that "close and productive relationships" between researchers are protected and preserved, to improve the "health, safety and wealth of patients and citizens throughout Europe" It adds that it is "essential" UK and EU negotiators "reach an agreement that supports medical research".

Only in facilitating the UK’s integral role in European research moving forward can the EU maintain its positioning on the global stage, suggests FEAM.

Key Priorities

FEAM insists Brexit negotiators should prioritize three particular areas when working out the agreement: supporting the mobility of researchers; forging international collaborations aimed at driving excellence; and safeguarding the interests of patients through the sharing of expertise, continued clinical research and participation in the European Reference Networks (ERNs).

“It is now down to the UK, the EU and to Member States to ensure that the unique relationship between UK and EU research is maintained for the benefit of medical research and ultimately of citizens across Europe. After all, neither the UK, nor Europe can afford a ‘Brexit’ for medical research,” FEAM concludes.

Joanna worked in higher education administration for many years at a leading research institution before becoming a full-time freelance writer. She lives in the beautiful White Mountains region of New Hampshire with her family.

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