|Time||Friday, 07/Sep/2018: 11:00 - 12:00|
The list of difficulties that Europe faces is without precedent: the aftermath of the financial crisis, the refugee crisis, the rule of law crisis in Hungary and Poland, the Brexit, the Catalogna crisis, increased commercial and trade tensions with the US… The future appears uncertain and filled with various risks. Several commentators, including pro-European ones, have been arguing for a "scaling back of European integration to a level which they deem sustainable" (Kjaer 2016): Europe has gone too far, they argue, and should lower its ambition so as to preserve its project. This seems to be also in line with the ambition of “doing less more efficiently”. However, in seemingly sharp contrast with this scenario, the EC recently declared its intention to intensify its involvement in education - a "sensitive" domain subject to national subsidiarity, as is well known.
"If European Leaders and their citizens call for an open Europe in which learning mobility is the norm and if Europe wants to remain a continent of excellence, an attractive place to study, to carry out research and to work, the time has come to work towards a European Education Area. Although the Union's competences in education and culture clearly do not allow for harmonisation as in other fields, action at EU level based on cooperation is possible and desirable." (EC2017, COM(2017) 673 final, p.5)
Thus, in November 2017, Europe made public its intention to put in place a European Education Area (EEA) by the year 2025. Soon after that, “the first Education Summit” was organized by the EC in Brussels to launch the process. While we are accustomed to the notion of a "European Research Area" or to that of a "European Higher Education Area" (Bologna process), the formal project of a "European Education Area" that includes not only higher education but also early, primary and secondary education, as well as lifelong learning, is new and could be seen as disruptive by many. While a very similar notion (that of European Educational Space) had been coined by academics (specifically Martin Lawn) as a means to explain their understanding of the development of education policy in Europe, it had never taken the shape of a formal communication and an official project set by the EC.
The Moot will offer a forum to reflect on this development.