Education International
Education International

Chairperson of the German Committee on Education says Education is a Public Good, not a Commodity

published 29 March 2007 updated 29 March 2007

"Education is a public good, not a commodity," said Ulla Burchardt, Chairperson of the Committee on Education, Research and Technology Assessment of the German Bundestag, at a meeting organised by the Gewerkschaft Erziehung und Wissenschaft (GEW), one of EI’s German member organisations.

The EI delegation met Ulla Burchardt in Berlin to share its views about the negotiations currently going on in the framework of the Doha Round and their potential impact on education. It was an occassion for EI to express its concerns and advocate for education to be excluded from trade agreements negotiations in general, and GATS in particular.

At the European level, there is a lack of information and transparency on the current state of the talks. National parliaments, in particular, do not receive appropriate information and are not in a position to discuss and exert democratic control. Given the potential impact of GATS commitments on education services, EU member states need to be given the ability to review and assess the significance of the existing commitments regarding their public education systems.

This meeting follows a series of meetings with trade negotiators from the EU, Brazil, Argentina, the Caribbean Group, Malaysia, Pakistan and Thailand held in Geneva on 30-22 March focusing mainly on domestic regulations.

EI shares all available information with its network of partners and stakeholders who hold the same principles and values about the issue.