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

Stanford research finds strong evidence of mental health benefits in delaying kindergarten

The study co-authored by Professor Thomas Dee provides helpful information for parents deciding when their child should enroll in kindergarten. [more]

Last Stand in War on Childhood?

Kindergarten and preschool teachers everywhere are struggling to preserve play.  [more]

New world school list online

Twice a year a new version of the world school list is published. The updated version for the first half of 2015 is online now.  [more]

Rudolf Steiner's Four Guiding Principles to Being a Great Waldorf Inspired Teacher

Using Rudolf Steiner's Closing remarks to the lecture cycle known as Practical Advice to Teachers, as a guide, Joseph Anthony offers his own unique... [more]

Body, soul and spirit

Ulrich Weger (University Witten/Hedecke) and Johannes Wagemann (Alanus Hochschule Alfter) have published an article in the renowned professional... [more]

A Second Enlightenment in the Making?

In the Huffington Post, popular scientist, organisational developer and anthroposophically motivated thinker Otto Scharmer speaks about his recent... [more]

Domestic report: Germany

All in all, Waldorf schools in Germany have a total of about 83’000 pupils and employ 9000 teachers. [more]

TTIP-Update: Success in the Plenary in Strasbourg

Given the numerous protests against the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), it is not surprising that the public debate has been... [more]

Phases of Teenage Development and Waldorf High School Curriculum

In broad strokes, each of the four years in the Waldorf high school curriculum embodies an underlying theme and method that helps guide students not... [more]

Waldorf and Montessori: How do they compare?

The Waldorf and Montessori movements are both holistic, child centered approaches to learning. Both movements began in similar times, in similar... [more]

Displaying results 51 to 60 out of 124

< Previous

Page 1

Page 2

Page 3

Page 4

Page 5

Page 6

Page 7

Next >

Follow