Interministerial Declaration on Investment in Education: a true commitment to quality education?


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On 5 April 2022, the joint “Declaration to build a shared vision of effective, efficient and equitable investment in education” was adopted by Education Ministers and Universities and Research Ministers from 26 EU Member States.

Alongside the European Union’s Education, Youth, Culture and Sport Council meeting on 4-5 April, the European Ministers of Education and Ministers of Finance, met in an informal session to discuss and adopt the declaration on investment in education.

Particularly, against the backdrop of the COVID-19 crisis and the gradual Recovery from the pandemic as well as the impact of the recent Russian invasion of Ukraine the topic of quality investment in education has been the subject of intense discussion at both European and national levels.

Already in 2021, the European Commission established an Expert Group on “quality investment in education and training” to identify policies to improve the efficiency of spending. The Interim Report resulting from the first year of work of the expert group was presented to multiple education stakeholders, including ETUCE, on 19 January 2022.

On 15 February 2022 the inter-ministerial Conference on “Investing in Education”, organised by the French Presidency of the EU Council, highlighted the initial results of the Expert Group. In this context, the French Minister of Education put forward an initiative for a possible Joint Declaration on Investment in Education.

As being detached from the framework of the Education Council meeting, the now adopted Declaration is based on the voluntary adhesion of each EU Member State. The document is built around four central elements:

  • Enhancing the effectiveness, equity, quality and efficiency of investment in education, through the improvement of collection of evidence on the impact of investment, in line with the strategic framework of European cooperation in the fields of education and training.
  • Encouraging the European Commission to draw on the research findings of the EU expert group on quality investment in education and training.
  • Supporting the EU Commission’s project to create a Learning Laboratory for investment in education, where researchers and Member States are brought together to build and test evaluation methods regarding investment in education.
  • Encouraging the Member States, alongside the Commission, to continue the joint dialogue between the Ministers of Education and Ministers of Finance, while drawing upon the initiative undertaken by previous presidencies.

Commenting on the adoption of the Declaration, Susan Flocken, European Director of ETUCE said: ‘We welcome that investment in Education is having a more central role in the policy discussion. At the same time, as education trade unions, our main priority is to ensure the best quality of education, leaving no one behind. Experience has shown that concrete involvement of education trade unions is crucial because it ensures the best way of addressing the pedagogical and social complexity of education . In view of the upcoming Learning Laboratory, we will keep seeking cooperation at European and national level to ensure that policies on investment in education produce a concrete added value for every teacher and learner across Europe.’.

Read more:

ETUCE position on quality investment in Education and Training

Declaration to build a shared vision of effective, efficient and equitable investment in education