Position paper of the European office for Catholic youth and adult education on TTIP / TiSA and Education published in english

The European office for Catholic youth and adult education published the english version of its position paper in regards to the negotiations on the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) as well as the Trade in Services Agreement (TiSA).

In the context of trade agreements the EU-Commission categorized education and public services as a sensitive sector. The EU-Commission emphasizes that the EU will refrain from making any commitments concerning publicity funded health, education or social services. Thus it lays down  that the Member State governments will retain their right to take measures with regard to certain services according to their own discretion. This may include the way in which they provide public funding or state support and decide who can operate or invest in their market. Governments will be free to do so even if it means that they will treat EU suppliers or investors differently from the ones based in the state of the respective contracting party. Publicly-funded education are included in the services mentioned, primary and secondary schools and colleges and universities in particular. We welcome and appreciate the sensitive approach taken. However, it is vital that the same approach should be taken towards the entire field of education, including publicly funded non-formal education.

 We are therefore concerned that the inclusion of "private" youth and adult education into the trade agreements’ scope of application could lead to serious risks for the educational policy as a whole, affecting schools, teachers and students and educational institutions in non-formal education in the EU. If private education or any form of mixed-financed education services are not specifically excluded in the negotiations, we fear that the FTA commitments will restrict the efficieny of public services and accelerate the general process of commercialization and privatization.

Therefore the European office for Catholic youth and adult organization calls for following:

  • We reject the investment protection regulations (including the Investor-to-State Dispute Settlement).
  • We reject the barring clause (“ratchet clause“), according to which countries are not entitled to re-nationalize sectors once privatized.
  • We call for a positive list-approach. However, if the decision is made in favor of a negative list-approach, all education services financed by public and private means have to be excluded from TTIP and TiSA. In order to ensure this, experts in non-formal education are to be involved at an early stage.
  • We demand increased involvement and further publishing of service-related documents as well as more precise information for the education sector in particular.  

So far a lot of our claims have been heard by members of the European Parliament and we were invited by MEP Helga Trüpel, rapporteur for the CULT Committee on TTIP, for a round table to discuss our views. The European office for Catholic youth and adult education is following furhter steps by TTIP and TiSA closely.

See our full position paper: