Maxence, a law student in Angers, France, asks:
Since the principle of free movement applies to most of Europe and a degree earned in Bulgaria is worth the same as one from France, aren’t you afraid that a country could lack manpower if it’s less attractive than another, like France, Germany or Italy?
Pervenche Berès, an MEP with the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats, responds:
Those are the stakes of social harmonisation, the harmonisation of the conditions of education that we’re working on and which is an uphill task.
We want a union that narrows the gaps between people in Europe, and free movement is the symbol of this. So what is free movement? In effect, it’s being able to establish yourself in another country with your degree, and that’s why the process of identifying forms of education is important, in order to define equivalents.
But there isn’t only the aspect of recognition of degrees, there is the whole matter of social norms and fiscal dumping in play. That is one of the reasons why we [in the European Parliament] are calling so strongly for social minimums and a form of fiscal harmonisation.