Resolution from the European Region

published 25 July 2011 updated 31 March 2017

The 6th World Congress of Education International (EI), meeting in Cape Town (South Africa) 22 to 26 July 2011


  1. Considering that many national governments in Europe are proposing or implementing severe cuts in education funding and presenting these austerity measures as a consequence of the global economic and financial crisis that started in 2007, while others recognise the importance of investing in education in response to the crisis;

  1. Considering that the onset of the current crisis is the result of inadequate regulation of financial markets and the irresponsible behaviour of financial institutions;

  1. Considering that the austerity policies advocated by European governments will impede job growth;

  1. Considering that the existence of a huge concentration of money in relatively few private hands and the poverty of public budgets on the other side is damaging the welfare of our countries;

  1. Considering that the reduction of education budgets will affect the quality and accessibility of education services at all levels;

  1. Considering that, in the short and medium term future, education systems across Europe will experience substantial personnel shortages, mainly due to large numbers of educators reaching their retirement age and the failure of most governments to develop effective recruitment programmes;

  1. Whereas education is a fundamental and universal right and a public good whose primary purposes are the development of the potential of the individual, the dissemination of knowledge, the development of social cohesion, the consolidation of democracy and the development of personal well-being;

  1. Whereas massive investments and support for the full range of education- Early Childhood Education, Primary and Secondary School Education, Vocational Education and Training, Lifelong Learning, Higher Education and Research -are widely recognised as a top priority for the sustainability of a knowledge-based society in post-industrial Europe;

  1. Whereas the educator, teacher, trainer, lecturer and researcher, plays a central role in the education system;

  1. Whereas the educator’s working conditions, including an attractive salary, access to a secure and fair pension scheme, opportunities for continuous professional development, a reasonable number of pupils per classroom, health and safety systems to tackle work-related stress and violence and harassment at work are essential prerequisites;

  1. Considering the underlying shortage of teaching staff and “low-cost” training (short term, fewer requirements for qualifications) proposed as a result of the crisis and the shortage by these governments.

  1. Whereas equal treatment of all educators regardless of their age, gender, ethnic origin, disabilities, sexual orientation, spiritual and political beliefs and commitments should be recognised as a non-negotiable standard;

  1. Having regard to the unique aspects of the European region in terms of its overlapping supra-national institutions and structures and their policies, viz. the Council of Europe, the European Union, the European Free-Trade Association, the European Economic Area, the Euro-zone, the Schengen Area and the European Customs Union, which have a significant impact on the daily lives of European people, and on education systems within Europe;

  1. Having regard, especially, to the uniqueness of the European Union, which includes in its Treaty the Charter of Fundamental Rights, the possibility for the social partners to participate in the process of developing legislation, and the competence to"contribute to the development of quality education by encouraging co-operation 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 organisation of education systems and their cultural and linguistic diversity";

  1. Having regard to the existing European and EU-related education policies, viz. the Bologna Process for Higher Education and Research, the Copenhagen Process for Vocational Education and Training, the Lifelong Learning programme, the Open Method of Coordination and its related European benchmarking process, which have a major impact on national education systems;

  1. Having regard to the increasing pressure for alternative funding especially in the area of Higher Education and Research and the demand for modernisation and change of management approach that lead to an increasing commercialisation and commodificationof education;


The 6th World Congress of Education International (EI),

  1. Urges European national and regional governments to maintain and increase the level of public investment in education at all levels, particularly in teacher training, and to defend education, which should be free of charge, and research as a public service, with the corresponding status and means, so as to support academic freedom in higher education and research;

  1. Calls on European governments to propose only quality training that is at master’s level, in order to maintain and improve the quality of teaching and to make the teaching profession more attractive.

  1. Calls on national governments and employers’ organisations in Europe to recruit increased numbers of highly educated teachers at all levels of education;

  1. Calls on national governments and employers’ organisations in Europe to work with the teacher trade-union movement through social dialogue and collective bargaining with a view to seeking better working conditions and equality of treatment for all education workers in the terms stated in paragraphs 9 and 10 of this Resolution;

  1. Calls on the European and national policymakers to adopt and implement appropriate policies for developing effective high quality, equitable and sustainable education systems at all levels of education in Europe taking into account the equality and gender balance ;

  1. Demands that the European institutions and national governments, in implementing the European policies and processes as described in paragraph 13 of this Resolution, must provide for appropriate public investment, for the full involvement of the education stakeholders and for public accountability at all steps of the processes;

  1. Calls on governments to change economic and fiscal policies in terms of distribution of the GNP;

  1. Demands that European Governments use fair and progressive taxation measures to obtain the additional revenue necessary to increase their investment in Education, in order to provide high quality Education services for all, and prevent the privatisation and commercialisation of the education services;

  1. Mandates the EI and the European Region, ETUCE- to promote and defend vigorously the principles stated in this Resolution in order to interact with European institutions (Council, Parliament, Commission) and support related actions both of affiliates, in their efforts and struggles at national level, and at international level throughout Europe.