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Legal structures for international university partnerships: Piloting a possible European legal status


April 28, 2023


Legal structures for international university partnerships: Piloting a possible European legal status

EU Affairs


April 28, 2023

Apr 28, 2023 10:25 AM


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This spring, four projects started testing a possible European legal status for higher education institutions to simplify international cooperation. ECIU partners are involved in the ESEU-project. All projects will advise the European Commission on shaping future policies in the field of higher education collaboration.

The ESEU project

The ESEU-project, of which all ECIU partners and many of their national authorities are a partner, will report on the legal implications, benefits, challenges and feasibility of the European Grouping of Territorial Cooperation (EGTC), the European Cooperative Society (SCE), the Societas Europea (SE) and the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT).

The ESEU-project kicked-off on 13 March with an online event with 50 participants. The work is currently ongoing, and the first task on the needs analysis and use cases is already delivered. The use cases will now be analysed against the four selected instruments to identify (mis)matches. Interviews with national authorities will be scheduled over summer and the midterm results will be discussed at a big online event in October. If you want to be involved in the ESEU-project, you can contact olga.wessels@eciu.org.

Three other pilots on a possible institutionalised cooperation instrument for universities

The EGAI-project, a project of the UNITA-alliance, will elaborate on a toolkit of legal instruments for the concrete functioning of the European Grouping of Economic Interest for academic institutions (‘European Grouping of Academic Interest’).

LEG-UniGR will develop a blueprint for a legal entity for cross-border university alliances, an installation guide for the EGTC, to pool part of the university services.

Finally, STYX, a project of the EUt+-alliance, will develop a draft proposal for a legal status, approved by national authorities.

All projects are in contact with each other and there will be a joined midterm workshop in October and final workshop in April.


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