The EU institutions launched a process of reviewing the EU economic governance process framework based on lessons learned during the pandemic and the energy crisis. The first step in the review process has been a European Commission Communication on orientations for a reform of the EU economic governance framework, published on 9 November 2022. To better understand the economic governance framework, as well as the proposed new rules, LLLP prepared an InfoNote which is accessible here. The Reaction will be based on the contents presented in the InfoNote.
LLLP has been calling for a ‘golden rule’ in the economic governance framework to be applied so that public investment in education and training would be excluded from debt sustainability calculation. The initial Commission suggestions do not feature such a rule, though the claims have been that the revised rules would allow Member States to invest freely to address comprehensive challenges. Though it is true that the flexibility is increased, the absence of a clear exclusion of certain forms of public investment would mean that the approach would be wildly divergent across Member States and the increased focus on the energy and climate crisis might cause education and training to fall down on the agenda over the years. Such a situation does not bode well for the EU findings regarding the structural inequity issues in learning across all of Europe but also for the fact that the boost in public funding post-COVID-19 has not yet compensated for the decades of underinvestment in the sector.