'Invest in Education' initiative proposes to exclude from the calculation of each country's public spending deficit, that part of Government spending for education that is lower than the last 5-year Eurozone average.
To support this initiative please sign up at www.invest-in-education.eu
Since 2009, strict austerity programmes have been applied across Europe with the intention of consolidating public budgets. More recently, both the economic effectiveness of austerity measures and the root causes of the crisis are being questioned by international experts and organisations. The short- and long-term negative effects of the measures on democratic processes and social rights standards have also come in for criticism. In 2011 and 2012, cuts in education budget were made in twenty countries for which data are available. Cuts of more than 5 % were observed in Greece, Italy, Cyprus, Latvia, Lithuania, Hungary, Portugal, Romania, the United Kingdom (Wales) and Croatia, whereas decreases between 1 and 5 % were seen in French Community of Belgium, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Ireland, Spain, France, Poland, Slovenia, Slovakia, the United Kingdom – Scotland.
Mind the Gap
Recession is tough especially for youths, but it is tougher on less educated youths than on those with good education. Data have highlighted strong inequalities in labour market outcomes within generations depending on different educational levels, as well as between generations: youth have been significantly more affected by the crisis, and this impact is even stronger for lower-skilled youth. It is thus confirmed that education indeed represents an important long-term personal and social investment. This carries on in later life: unemployment is always higher amongst less well educated workers. Education cannot reverse the impact of recession on unemployment, but it can help as the second contribution of education to economic and social development.
Young people have been hit particularly hard by the crisis. Youth unemployment rates in Europe stood at 23.5% in the first quarter of 2013, more than twice the – already very high – rate for the population at large. In some countries, more than half of the young people who want to work are unemployed. Young people hold the key to Europe's future dynamism and prosperity. Youth unemployment has a profound impact on individuals as well as on society and the economy.
In avoiding a 'lost generation', DIKTIO – "NETWORK www.todiktio.eu for reform in Greece and Europe" has taken the initiative for the creation of a European movement, entitled "Education is an investment! Do not count education spending as part of the deficit!" in order to set education as a priority both in the EU and in each country-member, in view of the inequalities emerging within the societies facing the current financial crisis. More specifically, DIKTIO – 'The Network' proposes excluding the part of each country's budget for education that is lower from the 5-year Eurozone average, from the country's public spending deficit. Funds for this policy should derive from re-allocating budgets from European support frameworks, the European Central Bank, or even from specially designed loans and they will be linked with the completion of specific educational policy goals.