Abstract: EU recognizes academic freedom, freedom of science and students’ right to education as fundamental rights (Charter of EU Fund. Rights, art. 13-14). However, this formal recognition does not correspond to a significant power in the field of education and research: member states have an exclusive power to regulate their system of education and the Union has only the competence to “support, coordinate or supplement the actions of the Member States” (art. 6 TFEU), without directly shaping students’ and faculty members rights.
Since the implementation of freedom of circulation for workers (art. 45 TFEU), EU has ensured some protection of the academic rights, but with the economic and political crisis, the European Court of Justice has adopted a narrow interpretation that especially undermines the right to education of European non-workers students’.
The protection of these rights at the European level is essential to strengthen the EU common identity and integration and to ensure the Europe 2020 strategy to make Europe "the most competitive and dynamic knowledge-based economy in the world”.
How could EU react to these evolutions and reinforce students and faculty members’ rights? Some lessons could be learned from the experience of US Federal Government.