The lobbying efforts of EAEA and its partners have been successful as education has been left out from the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), currently being negotiated between the European Union and the United States. According to the latest documents published on the European Commission's website, public services are to be excluded from the agreement.
The document 'Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership: Services and Investment Offer of the European Union' was tabled for discussion with the US in the negotiating round of 12th to 17th of July 2015 and made public two weeks after, on 31st of July.
The document states:
"The EU reserves the right to adopt or maintain any measure with respect to the following: […] Education services: Affected obligations and scope […]: The EU with regard to education services which receive public funding or State support in any form, and are therefore not considered to be privately funded […] and with regard to privately funded other education services […]."
EAEA had the opportunity, together with colleagues from the Lifelong Learning Platform (previously known as EUCIS-LLL), to meet with Jolana Mungenova, the Education and Civil Society Adviser to Commissioner for Trade, Cecilia Malmström, on TTIP.
Ms. Mungenova explained TTIP won't lead to privatization.
"The decision what is private or public is open to the member states. They can decide if they have the monopoly in certain areas of education – public services in general – or if they give the monopoly to a private company or if they have mixed forms of supply. TTIP does not have any competence in this area," she said.
"The same is true for structural funds – a member state needs to state in the operational programme who can bid for funds. Any changes happening at the national level will have to be decided at the national level," Ms. Mungenova continued.
Additionally, some member states have asked for specific reservations in the privately funded education sector, for adult education these are Cyprus, Finland, Malta, Romania and Sweden.
EAEA will continue to monitor the situation.
Photos: © European Union 2015 / source: EP and Lifelong Learning Platform
EAEA policy page on TTIP
EAEA Position Paper on TTIP
European Parliament votes on TTIP
EAEA welcomes CULT vote on TTIP
What does TTIP mean for adult education?
Commissioner Malmström answers to EAEA's concerns on TTIP
EAEA urges Commissioner Malmström to exclude adult education from the TTIP
Asian and European adult educators agree: Education is not a commercial good