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We do not want any «market of knowledge»! Call for a European mobilisation against the Lisbon strategy in higher education and research

Wednesday, 28 January 2009 · by db

On January 13th a meeting took place in Paris with the representants of ATTAC France, the National Union of Higher Education (SNESUP), the Fondation Sciences Citoyennes,  Sauvons La Recherche (SLR), Sauvons l’Université (SLU), the National Union of Researchers (SNCS) and the Union des familles Laïques (UFAL). In order to defend a public service of higher education and research, these organisations agreed on the need to engage a European-scale mobilisation against the Lisbon strategy which aims at building a “market of knowledge”. In this perspective, they proposed to call for mobilisations all around Europe on March 18th, 19th and 20th 2009, at the occasion of the next spring summit. During this summit, the heads of governments of the Member States of the EU will have to assess the Lisbon strategy initiated in 2000, which frames the policies currently engaged in the Member States so as to “modernise” the national research and education system.

We – the collective group of first signers – invite you to join us by diffusing and signing the call. To do so, please contact Isabelle Bruno (isabelle.bruno at univ-lille2 dot fr) or Frédéric Lemaire (frederic.lemaire at telecom-bretagne dot eu).

The next spring summit of the heads of state and governments of the European union will take place on March 19th ‐ 20th ,2009. One of its priorities will be the assessment of the Lisbon strategy initiated in 2000, which frames the policies currently engaged in the Member States so as to “modernise” the national research and education system (primary, secondary and higher education, lifelong learning). The declared ambition of a “knowledge‐based society” should be encouraged, as far as it consists in a collective ambition to promote education and research as public goods, a guarantee of democratisation of knowledge, and an opportunity for citizens to possibly criticise scientific and technical choices. But the current orientation is different, and reduces this project to the building of a “market of knowledge” whose harmful influence can be observed everywhere, with consequences such as the weakening of the scientific independence, the deconstruction of the public research system and the strengthening of the private sector, the increase of precarious working and studying conditions, the deepening of inequalities in the access to knowledge and the widening of the gap between citizens and technical and scientific choices.

For a few years, large‐scale mobilisations of increasing intensity have been initiated by students, workers in education and research, and by social movements in general all around Europe. These protests strongly express a demand for a public sector of education and research which would not be built without any democratic debate, nor driven by the laws of the market. That is why we call for a mobilisation of European citizens on March 18th, 19th and 20th 2009 in every member state and beyond, within universities, laboratories and in the streets, AGAINST the marketisation of scientific and educative activities, AGAINST the generalised competition of people and territories, FOR an emancipating and democratic public service of higher education and research.

First signers :
> Association pour la Taxation des Transactions financières pour l’Aide aux Citoyens – Attac
> Fondation Sciences Citoyennes
> Sauvons La Recherche – SLR
> Sauvons L’Université – SLU
> Syndicat National des Chercheurs Scientifiques – SNCS
> Syndicat National de l’Enseignement Supérieur – SNESUP
> Union des Familles Laïques – UFAL

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