Education International
Education International

Europe: Investment in education is condition for growth

published 24 July 2014 updated 28 July 2014

On the occasion of the opening of the new European parliament, the European Trade Union Committee for Education (ETUCE), Education International’s regional organisation for Europe, has issued a statement demanding that European leaders prioritise investment in education as the most effective way to increase economic growth in Europe and to reduce social inequalities.

In its statement, ETUCE, underlined the role of education as an investment. Through its direct impact on the workforce of the future, it said, that education has a key role to play in tackling the economic crisis, increasing social well-being and democratic participation in society, as well as in fostering sustainable economic growth.

Moreover, smart, inclusive and sustainable growth as envisaged in the Europe 2020 Strategy can only be achieved through effective social dialogue, according to ETUCE. However, the economic crisis has severely affected social dialogue in Europe, despite the fact that those countries that benefit from a well-established social dialogue have coped better with the crisis than others. This is why in its statement ETUCE calls on the European Union institutions and the member states to strengthen social dialogue in all fields, in particular in education.

ETUCE has long called on the European Council and the European Commission to invite Member States to reverse the current trend of under-financing education and to stop considering education as an easy target for fiscal consolidation.

In order to face the above challenges derived from the economic crisis, the ETUCE Committee adopted 10 Key Messages on ‘What is needed to improve the Quality of Education in Europe?’ on 23-24 October 2013. The document can be accessed here.

Now ETUCE is calling on the European Council and European Commission to use all its powers and instruments, including the European Semester governance framework, to urge Member States to protect and increase resources allocated to education, while laying out a clear vision for targeted effective investments that aim to achieve the European long-term strategic objectives.