National research policies in Europe have, in recent years, increasingly encouraged public-private collaboration, commodification of research results and have made public funding increasingly competitive. Such moves blur the boundaries between public and private sectors and could subject research in higher education institutions (HEIs) to European Union (EU) primary law. This might lead to unintended consequences. In particular, the application of economic provisions of EU primary law might require even further commodification. To explore this perspective, the article analyses national research policies of three countries (Germany, the Netherlands, and England), which have moved towards commodification of HEI research as to the potential of spill-over from EU competition law into these national policies. In doing so, it employs an interdisciplinary approach combining policy and legal analysis.
EU competition law; EU integration; higher education institutions; research policy; economic and social integration
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