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Germany: GEW denounces the application of EU Services Directive to education

EI affiliate in Germany the Gewerkschaft Erziehung und Wissenschaft (GEW) denounces the application of the European Union Services Directive to education.

"This would lead to the privatisation and deregulation of the public education system," said GEW. Speaking from the headquarters of the teacher union in Frankfurt am Mainz, GEW President Ulrich Thöne commented that "the Services Directive will open the door to further dismantling of public responsibility and endanger the fundamental right to education. The results will be an increase in the recruitment of unqualified personnel, decrease in the quality of education services and heightened inequality in education." In October, the European Parliament's Committee for Internal Market and Consumer Protection agreed on the Services Directive, which includes the "country of origin" principle. According this principle, as in the case of goods, any service which is produced by an EU member state and deemed acceptable for sale to the consumers in that country under the laws of that country should be made available freely in the other EU member states. The GEW, however, strongly rejects the application of the Services Directive to education services, especially the "country of origin" principle. Ulrich Thöne added that "the directive will only lead to job losses, salary decrease and the decline in the quality of education. The principle of price race which is the driving principle of this directive simply cannot replace the principle of social responsibility in a peaceful Europe." There will be special arrangements for education as in the case of health under the new Services Directive. GEW will continue to monitor the situation closely. For more information, please click on the following links.