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21 Oct 2011


Social Europe & Jobs

Spain’s youth has been hit hard by the crisis. 40 per cent of youth unemployment is a major threat to society’s stability. In addition to this, the Spanish government has decided austerity measures that have a strong impact on Spain’s educational system. CESI Secretary-General Helmut Müllers and Claude Heiser, President of the CESI Education Committee (EDUC), addressed a message of solidarity to the Spanish teachers’ unions ANPE and CSIF. “Any Euro spent in education is an investment, not expenditure”, says the letter Müllers and Heiser made public this Friday. CESI worries about the image of civil servants engendered by the current budgetary policies which point to civil servants and public employees as cost factors. “We cannot talk about a knowledge based society without qualified and motivated civil servants and public employees in the educational sector”, says Helmut Müllers.

CESI’s solidarity address follows alarming statements from Spanish teachers’ unions which report severe cuts in education spending. Müllers and Heiser remind of a declaration co-signed by CESI in January 2011 in the framework of the European social dialogue for education. In this statement, all European social partners of the sector recognize the crucial role of education, both in forming active citizens and in sustaining a dynamic, competitive European economy. CESI also wishes to recall that this approach is shared by the European Union which constantly underlines the role of schools and universities in the Europe 2020 strategy and its implementation. Müllers and Heiser call for the preservation of education budgets when budgetary consolidation efforts are put in place. “An efficient school system and high quality universities imply a well-formed, well-trained and well-paid workforce.” The solidarity address concludes: “We sustain actions you would undertake in Spain.”


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