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An opinion by GUE/NGL MEP Curzio Maltese on the ‘Establishment of the Structural Reform Support Programme for the period 2017-2020’ was adopted by members of the European Parliament's Committee on Culture and Education (CULT) today.

As Rapporteur and GUE/NGL Coordinator on the CULT Committee, Maltese believed the vote was crucial in countering the European Commission’s austerity policies. The opinion will now be considered by the Committee on Regional Development (REGI) at a later date.

Commenting on the outcome of the vote this morning, Maltese said:

“In recent years, public education along with healthcare have borne the brunt of the EU's austerity agenda and privatisation. If the EU relinquishes citizens’ rights to education and healthcare then it is undermining its very own principles”, argued the Italian MEP.

“Today's approved text establishes that ‘education is a fundamental right and a common good’ geared towards ‘the full development of the human personality’ and that 'its goal cannot be determined by the economic objectives of the Union alone'.”

“The systems and policies put in place in the fields of education, training and access to culture must be guaranteed to be universal, high quality, sustainable and inclusive. They should also promote excellence and research development at every level.”

“This vote should keep in check the Commission’s attempt to impose neoliberal policies which have destroyed our welfare state. I now hope that this opinion by CULT will also be approved by REGI,” he concluded.

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