Cooperation with EU-153 and candidate countries is important, since innovation thrives by openness (while being alert on issues such as knowledge safety and strategic autonomy).Our party however notes that excellence can be spread (as in: expanded), but not spread (as in: redistributed). Thus, in order to maintain excellence in European research and innovation it is key to stay focused on the best of the best, and not use programmes like “Widening participation” as a mechanism for distributive justice.