CULT Committee calls for exclusion of non-profit educational services from the TTIP

April 2015

The ongoing negotiations on the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) between the European Union (EU) and the United States of America (USA) are a cause of concern for many educational stakeholders in Europe. Especially independent non-profit providers like the Steiner and Waldorf schools might eventually be affected by the TTIP.

Picture: US and EU flags by openDemocracy

TTIP is a proposed free trade agreement, which aims to further liberalise trade in goods and services by reducing trade barriers and harmonising systems. Despite announcements of the European Commission to exclude “services supplied in the exercise of governmental authority”, many stakeholders are worried. Not only is the formulation weak and opens the floor to various, and sometimes contradicting, interpretations, it also does not offer sufficient protection for a variety of non-profit services.

Civil Society Organisations active in the field of education have often voiced their concerns, but have managed to make themselves heard only recently. Since 5th February 2015, the European Parliament is working on an Initiative report, which is supposed to give the Commission concrete recommendations on the TTIP negotiations and is a joint initiative of 15 Parliamentary Committees. This helped to open up the debate on the TTIP and allowed for a more balanced discussion of arguments. Many concerns of Civil Society Organisations are better reflected in these debates and might shape the final text considerably.

On 16 April 2015, the Committee on Education and Culture (CULT) of the European Parliament voted on its Opinion on Recommendations to the European Commission. The original draft provided by rapporteur Helga Trüpel (Greens/EFA) called for an exclusion of educational services “which receive public funding or state support in any form”. This clearly reflected some of the concerns voiced by Civil Society Organisations and brought improvements into the wording. Fully privately funded non-profit providers, like most Steiner schools in the UK, would however not be covered by this clause. This was clearly not enough to sufficiently protect the interests of the independent non-profit schools.

ECSWE therefore decided to collaborate with the European Forum for Freedom in Education (effe) in a joint lobby-initiative. In order to better reflect the needs of all non-profit educational services, they successfully proposed and promoted amendments to the original text. Thanks to the support of the European Civil Society Platform for Lifelong Learning (EUCIS-LLL), all Members of the CULT Committee were addressed ahead of the votes, and finally a broad majority voted in favour of an exclusion “of all educational services which work on a non-profit-basis and/or receive public funding to any degree or state support in any form.” This is good news for all Steiner and Waldorf Schools in Europe.

The Opinion will now be delivered to the Committee on International Trade, which is supposed to vote on the Initiative report in May. The final vote in the Plenary of the EP is scheduled 9th June 2015.

Source: ECSWE

All news in this category

Whither Waldorf?

Special issue about the future of Waldorf education. Translated for our english readers. [more]

Every cloud has a silver lining – the future of Steiner Schools in England

Many Steiner schools in England have come in for serious criticism of their practices in recent inspections by the schools inspectorate Ofsted.... [more]

Teheran: First International Congress on Education and Health

The University of Social Welfare and Rehabilitation Sciences in Tehran organized a congress from 19 to 21 June 2018 with many contributions from... [more]

Hyderabad/India: Waldorf is booming

Waldorf Education is very popular in India – applications to the seven schools and more than 25 kindergartens are constantly increasing. No wonder.  [more]

São Paolo: teacher training center becomes a university

The teacher training center in São Paolo has been around for 40 years. Many Brazilian Waldorf teachers are trained here (sometimes also teachers from... [more]

Domestic report: The Netherlands

The first Waldorf school was founded in 1923 in The Hague. Amsterdam and Zeist followed in 1933. In the 1970s there was a strong growth in the number... [more]

Domestic report: Italy

While the number and distribution of Waldorf Steiner schools and kindergartens in Italy has not changed noticeably in the last years, there has been... [more]

Transforming Ownership to Create a Better Economy

Private ownership of companies drives our economic system but it has also created corporations that put profit above everything else, a divided... [more]

Why write? Penmanship for the 21st Century

What is the future of writing in the digital age, and why does it matter? In this surprising talk, Master Penman Jake Weidmann explores the... [more]

Polyhedric educational experiences

The main focus of this video is the recent development of the upper classes of the Scuola Novalis. The Libera Scuola Steiner-Waldorf “Novalis” is... [more]

Displaying results 1 to 10 out of 122

Page 1

Page 2

Page 3

Page 4

Page 5

Page 6

Page 7

Next >

Follow