European Union Forum This forum is based on the Unit 3 session: Lifelong learning and international political economy – the case of the European Union There are two issues to be explored in this forum: 1. The political economy of education in the European Union In the conclusion of the session on the European Union, I make the following claim: “The imperatives of states and the market have tended to take precedence over educational ones in the EU. Unless education has suddenly aligned its basic philosophy to the pursuit of economic and political power, some doubts should (for the time being at least) be cast on the European rhetoric of ‘lifelong learning for all’”. Question for discussion: what do you think of this analysis? Is an understanding of EU education policy as a response to global economic pressure a useful way to assess the rationale behind lifelong learning? 2. Democratic legitimacy and the European Union A major concern currently among European governments and also European citizens is the legitimacy of the European Union not only to govern but even in some cases to exist at all. It is important therefore to explore issues of legitimacy when it comes to important policy areas such as education, particularly around the issue of supranationalism and its impact on nation-state sovereignty. In the paper: Mark Murphy (2003) Covert action? Education, social policy and law in the European Union. Journal of Education Policy, 18(5); 551-562. On page 560 in the conclusion there is an argument that: “the fuzzy, blurred, and covert history of education policy in Europe does not contribute much to a sense of optimism regarding the strengthening of European democratic legitimacy, a key and indispensable component of any effective post-national form of citizenship”. Question: What led the author to make such an argument? Is the use of law as detailed here a legitimate way to transfer powers to the European Union?