Wednesday, 7 November 2012

EU: MFF 2014-2020 current state of affairs

The European Parliaments CULT Committee discussed the amendments made to MEP Doris Pack report suggested by EP colleagues for the new ERASMUS FOR ALL program.

The CULT Commitee suggests a new name for the program: "YES Europe" which stands for Youth, Education, Sport. Important is that there is a separate chapter for youth included, as well as a separate budget line.Also there is suggested to have a continuation of the already existing brand names for the education sub-programmes in order to have the different educational sectros balanced. Further the CULT committee agrees to suggest a minimum allocation of funding (between 84-90%) as well as the need for each sub-program for adequate support.
The CUlT commitee agrees with the increased budget as suggested by the European commission, and sees the biggest obstacle by the current debate among th emember states to substantially cut the EU budget for 2014-2020. In this regard the EP and EC are on the same side.
Also the committee gave a clear message to the Cyprus presidency representative, that money savings in the new EU budget should be made elswhere but not in the future lifelong learning programmes.

On 26-27 November 2012 the European Parliament will have the plenary debate on the budget. The negotiations between EP, EC and Council are in process.

At this stage it is rather vague how Adult Education will finally be shaped, there is a tendency to concentrate the program on the activities that have the potential to generate systemic impact. However this systemic impact is defined, it might be a mix of large scale projects with european innovation potential as well as a sustaining of the Learning Partnerships at the national level.

Still the involvement of broad representation and support of European Civil Society Organisations remains rather vague in the suggestions, which is worrying. Especially for non- formal Adult Learning it is difficult to compete with the large educational providers such as higher education and VAT. Given the fact that the European treaties aim for a lively democracy there is an evident need for a sound involvement of civil society organisations in the political process of the EU. In current times the democratic project of the EU is under heavy pressure: there should be a consensus that the involvement of civil society organisations is a public good and means something different than economical lobbyism.