Let the grilling begin! Monday 30 September marked the beginning of the European Parliament (EP) hearings for the Commissioners-designate, and Mariya Gabriel, candidate for the portfolio of Innovation and Youth, was due to face questions from the EP’s Committees on Industry, Research and Energy (ITRE) and Culture and Education (CULT).
SOLIDAR and SOLIDAR Foundation reiterate the concerns, presented in its previously published info note, regarding the absence of the word ‘education’ from the title of the portfolio, the absence of adult education and lifelong learning as priorities for the new Commission, the potential uneasy and eventually ineffective collaboration among Commissioners and DGs in the area of education due to the needlessly complicated administrative architecture set in place and the use of education as a tool for meeting labour markets needs instead of for contributing to citizens’ personal development.
SOLIDAR and SOLIDAR Foundation demand that the MEPs raise these points in Ms. Gabriel’s hearing and insists that the name of the portfolio should be changed, ensuring that ‘Lifelong Learning’ is included.
Education must be a priority for the next Commission. We urge the Commissioners to ensure that this topic will not suffer from its responsibilities being scattered among the work of different portfolios. However, the priority for the members that we represent is for the role of education to be reassessed in this new Commission, ensuring that education is not used to create workers fit for the needs of the labour market only, but also that social investment is ensured through education, relying on education to include all citizens in society and enhancing active citizenship via non-formal education as well.
SOLIDAR and SOLIDAR Foundation trust that MEPs will ensure that education receives the attention that it deserves in the future Commission. We are ready to cooperate with the new Commissioners in ensuring that the lifelong learning component is not neglected and that citizens will be empowered by means of education. We will continue to closely monitor the hearings and developments associated with them.