There are many facets to this question. Our societies clearly build their resilience, progress, prosperity and freedom on an enlightened understanding of science. We must recognise that there is a global competition and that we in Europe need to significantly increase our efforts to play a major role and achieve a certain degree of independence. This includes not only strengthening our self-image as a knowledge society or the freedom of science, but also critically questioning it, for example when thinking about the use of artificial intelligence. In this understanding, science and development are not hidden away in ivory towers, but are seen as cross-cutting issues whose importance for our coexistence ranges from medicine to climate policy, from AI research to sociology. On this basis, we need to promote cooperation between democratic constitutional statesin Europe, for which a science-based basic orientation and science based on transnational cooperation are important prerequisites.