27/10/2015 10:00:00 Education and TTIP

Our regions are following closely the EU and US negotiations to reach a trade and investment deal (TTIP). Since education is subjected to this treaty, Earlall, on the initiative and together with our member region RHEINLAND-PFALZ, has prepared a technical note on the issue (please contact us for more information). 

Some of the key messages could be summarized as follows: 

-          European Commission: “the EU doesn´t take any commitments for publicly funded health, education or social services”. 

-          The US request in TTIP covers privately-operated adult and other education services provided through any mode of supply, personally, digitally, by correspondence or through radio or television broadcasting. 

-          The European Parliament (Plenary) adopted its recommendations to the European Commission on 8 July 2015. More specifically, the European Parliament voted on Helga Trüpels’ (Greens, Germany) amendment (373 votes in favour, 336 against and 1 abstention): 

“to ensure with a general clause the right of EU Member States to adopt or maintain any measure with regard to the provision of all educational and cultural services which work on a non-profit basis and/or receive public funding to any degree or state support in any form, and to ensure that privately funded foreign providers meet the same quality and accreditation requirements as domestic providers”

On 27 October, the Lifelong Learning Platform and a small delegation of its members involved in the topic (EAEA, Earlall, ECSWE and ESU) met with EU Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmström's Adviser, Mrs Mungengova, to discuss the situation of education in the Transatlantic Trade Agreement (TTIP). 

The discussion centred around clarifying the amendment to the treaty such as adopted in the July negotiations, by which it now provides that publically funded education is excluded from the TTIP. Mrs Mungengova reassured that the European Commission was strongly committed to defend European public services including of course education. Those services are excluded from the negotiations. If other forms of education may also be excluded from liberalisation, the decision rests on Member States who are responsible for deciding what is public and private. Member States have already expressed some reserves on private education (pages 85 120, 151).