August 30, 2010
Just a thought which some readers might share against supporters of the new system: the ‘improved’ EPSO system might be an innovation, a step forward, a good thing. We can accept this hypothesis. However, what is not included in the general picture is the huge production of European Studies graduates (bachelors & masters) who would vigorously disagree with Ms. Peter’s enthusiasm as regards the renunciation of EU knowledge in the exams.
If the EU-related private sector is such a jungle (note that it suffices to have a few friends working in the sector), so crammed with all sorts of organisations and bodies and offices, and so imbalanced in terms of location (most of them are in Brussels), then why on earth are there so many European Studies programmes in universities all over Europe? Is that really in line with the Commission’s perspective for 2020? How can you promote employment (among youth) if you turn a blind eye to the severe (un)employment problems facing young people when they graduate with European Studies?
Since the private sector is completely saturated, most students of European Studies see their professional future in an EU institution. That is the main drive of taking up European Studies. What EPSO is proposing now (and Ms. Peter is supporting) is that you can study textiles or bird habitats in Africa and that (together with some IQ, EQ and a bit of EPSO training) should be enough to find a place in the EU institutions.
OK, so be it. But should you not also tackle the issue of all the ‘tricked’ students who are being absorbed by universities into European Studies programmes just to be thrown up in the middle of nowhere once they graduate?
For training agencies, the new EPSO system provides more (profitable) opportunities to put their services to work. Unlike in the past (when they were competing against universities on EU knowledge), agencies are now giving training on IQ, EQ etc.
From their point of view, the new EPSO system may well be “fair” and “efficient”. But it is also important to consider the standpoint of students (and, why not, universities) in European Studies.
IonutAuthor : Letters to the EurActiv editor