Transformation of European education policy

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1 Transformation of European education policy From national to common policy of education? by: Edmund Ohlendorf Studiendirektor a.d. Coordinator of the COMENIUS-Network Network COMCULT

2 1 Different stages of the educational policy in the EU 1st. Stage from 1957 to 1992 European Economic Community EEC Article 128 [General principles for vocational training] The Council shall, acting on a proposal from the Commission and after consulting the Economic and Social Committee, lay down general principles for implementing a common vocational training policy capable of contributing to the harmonious development both of the national economies and of the common market. 2 d. Stage from 1992 on Treaty about the European Union (Maastricht) Article 126 (Amsterdam version from 1997 Article 149) [general education, aims] (1) The Community shall contribute to the development of quality education by encouraging cooperation between Member States and, if necessary, by supporting and supplementing their action, while fully respecting the responsibility of the Member States for the content of teaching and the organization of education systems and their cultural and linguistic diversity. Article 127 (Amsterdam version from 1997 Article 150) [vocational training, aims] (1) The Community shall implement a vocational training policy which shall support and supplement the action of the Member States, while fully respecting the responsibility of the Member States for the content and organization of vocational training. 2

3 1 Different stages of the educational policy in the EU 3 d. Stage from 1999 Bologna-Process and from 2000 Lisbon-Srategy Bologna Process In June European education ministers signed a declaration in Bologna that aimed at bringing together university education in Europe and making results easier to compare through the: - Introduction of a two-tier system of study courses (Bachelor and Master) - Introduction of a European Credit Transfer System (ECTS) Lisbon Strategy The leaders of the EU member states agreed on a programme in Lisbon in March 2000 to make the EU the most competitive and dynamic academically-based economic area of the world by For this purpose the results of the educational systems in EU member countries were to be improved. The individual measures were defined and checked at following conferences. This procedure is called the Open Method of Coordination (OMC). It is to be continued as the new economic strategy of the EU until

4 2 The legal base of EU educational policy (Aims, Limits) (4 th. Stage) from Dec Lisbon Treaty (TEU and TFEU) After the European Constitution was rejected in 2005 by voters in France and the Netherlands, two years passed before the EU governments could agree on a revised Text for the treaty in This so-called Lisbon Treaty came into force after ratification in all EU states on 1. December The EU governments, however, lacked the courage to widen the legal basis for EU education policy. This remained at the Maastricht (1992) level. Only sports promotion was added d as a new aim. The EU is allowed to carry on with the following measures however excluding any harmonization of the laws and regulations of the Member States. (Art.165 TFEU, ex-art.149 and Art.166 TFEU, ex-art.150): - Developing the European dimension in education, particularly through the teaching and dissemination of the languages of the Member States; - Encouraging mobility of students and teachers, inter alia by encouraging the academic recognition of diplomas and periods of study; - Promoting cooperation between educational establishments; t ( and further aims) 4

5 2 The legal base of the EU educational policy Legitimation problems In a representational democracy a group (people, nation) authorizes a government to rule. The latter is thus legitimized i to exercise power in an orderly manner. Input Legitimation: Government through the people Political decisions are legitimate when and if they reflect the will of the people. Inputlegitimation is based on far-reaching agreement, on consensus or identification. Majority decisions are accepted when they are based on a common faith, on a common historical, linguistic and cultural background that produces solidarity. The EU, however, has no homogeneous population with a collective identity. It consists of many nations with their own identities. (One seat in the EP represents about inhabitants in Germany, in Malta only about 80000). Output Legitimation: Government for the people Government for the people derives its legitimacy through solving problems that cannot be solved either by individuals or by voluntary joint action, but whose solution serves large sections of the population. Common interests are enough here to regulate certain responsibilities in different areas and periods of time. (Intergovernmental regulations) 5

6 3 The legislation process for establishing an Action programme in the field of lifelong learning Adoption (submission) by EU-Commission Opinion of European Economic and Social Committee Committee of the Regions opinion Commission and EP position (first reading) Discussions at Council Reduction of educational budget within the Financial Perspective from 14,37 Billion (Commiss. and EP proposal) to 6,97 Billion by the Council Discussions at Council Adoption of amended proposal by EU Commission Transmission of amended proposal to EP Political agreement on common position at Council Final decision and signature of text by EP and Council Publication of final text in EU Official Journal (OJ) 6

7 4 Objectives, instruments und actions within the frame of the Action programme in the field of lifelong learning Proposal of the Commission from Arguments for the programme (7) The special meeting of the European Council in Lisbon on March 2000 set a strategic goal for the European Union to become the most competitive and dynamic knowledgebased economy in the world, capable of sustainable economic growth with more and better jobs and greater social cohesion, and invited the Education Council to undertake a general reflection on the concrete future objectives of education systems, focusing on common concerns and priorities while respecting national diversity. Standpoint of the EP, first reading The text (7) of the Commission was adopted unchanged by the EP, here num.(9), and is published in the OJ on as number(8). But the EP could push through the following completion number (10) in the OJ from number (9): An advanced knowledge society is the key to higher growth and employment rates. Education and training are essential priorities for the European Union in order to achieve the Lisbon goals. 7

8 4 Objectives, instruments und actions within the frame of the Action programme in the field of lifelong learning Proposal of the Commission from , reasons for mobility (20) Given the demonstrated beneficial impacts of transnational mobility on individuals and on education and training systems, the high h volume of unfulfilled demand for mobility in all sectors, and its impor- tance in the context of the Lisbon target, it is necessary to increase substantially the volume of support for trans- national mobility in the four sectoral programmes. Standpoint of the EP, first reading The text (20) of the Commission was specified and enlarged by the EP: (27) More provision should be made for the mobility needs of individual school pupils at secondary level and of individual adult learners, hitherto not covered by Community programmes, by introducing new types of mobility action into the Comenius and Grundtvig subprogrammes Over the lifetime of the integrated Programme, the Comenius sub-programme should aim to involve approximately secondary pupils in individual mobility, and the participation of approximately teachers in individual mobility between schools, especially in adjacent regions. The Official Journal (OJ) of the EU from Shows a similar text, but without specific figures. 8

9 4 Objectives, instruments und actions within the frame of the Action programme in the field of lifelong learning Proposal of the Commission from , Specific goals of the programme: 3.(a) To contribute to the development of quality lifelong learning and to promote innovation and a European dimension in systems and practices in the field; [Goal: European identity und solidarity??] 4. In accordance with the administrative provisions set out in the Annex, the integrated programme shall support and supplement action taken by the Member States. Specific goals for the transversal programme : (e) ii) To promote the convergence of Member States' education and training systems; [The EP adopted this formulation word-for-word into its standpoint from under (4) e)] Standpoint of the EP, first reading (3)a)) to contribute t to the development of quality lifelongl learning and to the convergence of educational systems in the Member States towards higher quality standards and to promote innovation and a European dimension i in systems and practices in the field; Final text published in the Official Journal of the EU from : In accordance with the administrative provisions set out in the Annex, the Lifelong Learning Programme shall support and supplement action taken by the Member States, while fully respecting their responsibility for the content of education and training systems and their cultural and linguistic diversity. [The goal to promote the convergence of Member States education and training systems is missing completely] 9

10 4 Objectives, instruments und actions within the frame of the Action programme in the field of lifelong learning (1) Sectoral sub-programmes a) The Comenius programme For projects and networks in the field of pre-school and school education up to the level of the end of upper secondary education b) The Erasmus programme For projects, networks and grants in the field of formal higher education c) The Leonardo da Vinci programme For teaching and learning needs of those in vocational education and training d) The Grundtvig programme For teaching and learning needs of those in all forms of adult education (2) The transversal programme For policy cooperation, language learning, development and use of ICT content (3) The Jean Monnet programme For activities in the field of European integration studies 10

11 5 The future of the European education 5.1 Tasks (here of the general education) Where must education step in particularly in the European Union? - Guaranteeing peace externally, tolerance internally (banning violence) - Social justice and search for solutions for migration problems - Education on social systems in the EU member countries - Promotion of foreign language learning - Identification with the EU in sharing common values (e.g. pluralism, solidarity) - Showing limits of national politics in a globalised world - Education on the true causes of problems (e.g. in the world of work, financial economy and protection of the environment) - Illustration of decision procedures in the EU (vertical intertwinement or layered system, consensus democracy (trialogue), obligation to cooperate) - Arousing interest in transnational connections as prerequisite for truly democratic European elections) 11

12 5 The future of the European education 5.2 Analysis of the problem (Quo vadis Europa?) integrated supranational integration (federal state) Past Empires Exclusive jurisdiction customs, rules of competition Roman Empire Differentiated integration monetary policy Monarchy of hegemonial posthegemonial Split jurisdiction Habsburg order European Empire e.g. traffic (as well as Europe) agriculture British Empire environment Supporting measures Third Reich e.g. education labour & social policy Soviet Block Unanimous decisions for foreign & safety policy by the European Council 12 not integrated intergovernmental cooperation of sovereign (single) states

13 5 The future of the European education Analysis of fthe problem What makes educational policy in the EU so difficult? - The EU combines supranational integration (supportive measures) with intergovernmental cooperation. (Maastricht, Bologna, Lisbon OMC) - In EU society there are only weak cross-border loyalties in the area of education. In agriculture and certain areas of industry such loyalties have already progressed further. - Political decisions are intertwined vertically on many levels. (particularly difficult in federal systems) - Political decisions are based as a rule on consensus, cooperation, and law (weak input-legitimation in educational policy) - The European empire has little hierarchical power, which must be reconstructed from case to case through alliances, cooperation and networks where common interests are found). 13

14 5 The future of the European education 5.3 Possibilities of a further development Starting position: - The OMC (Lisbon Strategy) has not been completed (Output-legitimation) - The complete exhaustion of European integration policy according to the Lisbon Treaty (in force since 1. Dec.,2009) leads to no expectation of any further treaty variation in the area of education in the foreseeable future. - Influence on educational policy in individual countries has so far depended too much on idealism and personal contacts of single project coordinators. What is to be done? - There could be promotion of further networks, which, however, should work along aims or content in a cohesive cross-border system. - Teacher basic and further training must be particularly encouraged in any case. - Testing of project results so far should be organized in teaching especially with the object of finding them a place in the curriculum. - European studies should be given a particular lesson quota in all schools or become a permanent part of political studies over a longer period of time. - The EU could provide preparatory work on content for this subject. 14

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