It is time to share prosperity: equal access to quality education at the core of the 2019 European Semester


The Annual Growth Survey (AGS) 2019, published on 21 November 2018, sets out the EU’s general economic and social priorities and offers policy guidance to EU governments for the following year. While acknowledging the six-year long uninterrupted growth of Europe’s economy, this year’s AGS recognises that not everybody benefitted from it on equal terms. Prioritising the need to address growing inequalities, the Commission warns about the vulnerability of the European economy to global instability and medium to long-term challenges. Thus, the focus for 2019 still remains on socio-economic resilience, macro-economic stability and sound public finances.

In line with ETUCE’s demands to boost professional and working conditions of education personnel and warnings about the rising level of inequalities in accessibility and provision of quality education , the AGS emphasises the need to address such inequalities which persist in most Member States, starting from quality early childhood education and care, on ensuring adequate investment to this end, and, for the first time, to priorities initial education and continuous professional development of teachers and trainers in this context

Despite that ETUCE welcomes this renewed commitment” commented Susan Flocken, ETUCE European Director, “we find it difficult to reconcile the call for equal access to quality education and achieving high educational outcomes with the call for increasing cooperation of education and training systems with businesses as well as the call for investment in education for the sole purpose of labour market relevance”.

Any attempt to enhance the private and corporate interest access into education undermines inclusive and equitable education and risks becoming a barrier for the poorest and most disadvantaged”, Ms Flocken concluded.

Know more on the ETUCE priorities for the Annual Growth Survey 2019.

Download the European Commission Annual Growth Survey 2019.