Academic freedom is a fundamental principle and essential for a healthy and vibrant democracy. It must apply to the community as a whole that is engaged in research, learning, teaching, and institutional autonomy must shield institutions from political and economic interference throughout the EU. On the European level, we propose setting up a European platform for academic freedom as a monitoring system, strengthening the European research agenda on academic freedom as well as strengthening the (European) binding legal definition. These points can be put forward for the interim evaluation of the Horizon Europe programme and second Strategic Plan (2025-2027).