The EU Horizon2020 program funded the EuPRAXIA design study in 2015. The project is coordinated by DESY and by now has 41 participating institutes from Europe, Asia and the US. It will deliver a conceptual design report in October 2019. EuPRAXIA aims at the construction of an innovative linear electron accelerator based on plasma acceleration technology. This machine will have an accelerating field of 50 GV/m, a final electron beam energy of 1 to 5 GeV, significantly improved beam quality, various user applications and demonstrated benefits in size and cost when compared to RF technology. The improved beam quality and the ultra-high accelerating fields will be achieved by combining cutting-edge plasma accelerator technology, high power lasers from European industry, modern RF technology (including X-band from CERN) and latest diagnostics and instrumentation. EuPRAXIA is designed to fully develop a 5 GeV plasma accelerator module to user readiness. It is the required intermediate step to a plasma based linear collider that would then combine many such modules. We propose that the next European Strategy for Particle Physics should explicitly list ultra-high gradient plasma acceleration and, if possible, the EuPRAXIA project as essential R&D towards a compact alternative for future colliders.