In a little-publicised move, the European Commission is trying to seize control over the accreditation of higher education institutions across the EU by bringing a legal test-case against Slovenia.
The action, if successful, will establish that national authorities in member states are no longer able to refuse to recognise degrees and diplomas issued by foreign-owned institutions.
The commission is claiming the power under the 2006 EU Services Directive, which lays down the “freedom to provide services.” The directive bars member states from imposing their national requirements on a wide range of cross-border trade and services, including retail sales, tourism, construction, and business related services.
Opponents of the commission’s move insist the services directive explicitly excludes education from being considered a market service. They say moves by the commission to take control of accreditation threaten to damage the quality of…
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