EP and EU Council at loggerheads over 2012 budget for education

European Parliament, Brussels

BRUSSELS – The EU Council and European Parliament (EP) are about to clash over the 2012 budget for education. While the EP’s Education and Culture Committee will ask for an increase at its meeting on 4 October, the Council is looking to cut 60 million euro from the EU’s Life Long Learning (LLP) budget. The European Students’ Union (ESU) is calling upon both institutions to maintain the current budget and to increase the long term LLP budget in the Multiannual Financial Framework.

Allan Päll, ESU Chairperson said: “The Council is turning a blind eye to reality by proposing to reduce investment into education which should actually be prioritised during times of economic uncertainty. Despite the huge demand from students to study in another European country and the ongoing decrease of the average Erasmus grants, leaders still refuse to invest in the future of European education.”

In its draft opinion to the 2012 budget, the EP Education and Culture Committee says that the European education programme brings ‘clear and demonstrated added value’ and calls this ‘vital’ for the Europe 2020 Strategy to succeed. They ‘regret’ that the Commission’s draft budget does not propose any additional funding for education. Furthermore they urge for a ‘significant increase’ for the LLP programme and for a ‘doubling’ of the funds for education in the next MFF. The Education and Culture Committee has asked for a 45 million euro increase and the Liberals (ALDE) for a topping up of 55 million euro.

Päll concluded: “We understand concerns of EU member states about public finances, but we urge them to find an area that is not so vital for the future success of Europe to make their cuts in.”

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Published: 3 October 2011

For more information, please contact:
Allan Päll, ESU Chairperson: +32/479.591.499 or allan@esu-online.org or Marianne Slegers, ESU Communications Manager: +32/473.669.894 or marianne@esu-online.org