FEP Press Release- Opening Up Education

You will find below the FEP press release on Opening Up Education, issued on the 25th of September, following the publication of the Commission’s Communication. Both the English and the French versions are available in PDF format- see in attachment.

EUROPEAN EDUCATIONAL PUBLISHERS STAND READY FOR TOMORROW’S CHALLENGES!

The Federation of European Publishers welcomes the European Commission’s Communication on Opening Up Education adopted today by the College of Commissioners at the initiative of Vice-President Neelie Kroes and Commissioner Androulla Vassiliou.

European book publishers subscribe to the goal of improving educational systems throughout the EU in order to make them fitter for the needs of citizens and of the labour markets. It has always been educational publishers’ main duty to provide teachers and learners with high quality educational resources, first in print and now increasingly also in digital format and it is our intention to continue doing so in the future, whatever direction our educational systems will take, putting our resources at work in a competitive market environment.

FEP President, Piotr Marciszuk, himself a schoolbook publisher in Poland (Stentor http://www.stentor.pl/strony/stentor-in-english) said ‘ We will be glad to cooperate with the European Institutions as well as the national authorities to make sure that professionally published educational resources continue playing their key role in education and implementing new, innovative ways to deliver our content, including via experimentations aimed at integrating Open Educational Resources with professional materials in order to reach out to areas currently not fully covered by market forces. It is also important that EC is calling for a review of the VAT rates which represent a burden for the schools but also the citizens.

Publishers also welcome that the Communication recommends that ‘stakeholders involved in the provision of ’traditional’ educational materials can also help to make high-quality digital content more available: textbook authors, publishers and booksellers can contribute to joint collaborative efforts to find new innovative technical solutions ensuring that high-quality resources are available to all. The complementarity of traditionally published resources and OERs, as well as freedom of choice for teachers and educators, should remain key guiding principles’. They stand ready to consult with users of educational materials to find balanced solutions notably through licensing including in the field of copyright.

Educational publishing represents an approximate 20% share of the total 22,8 billion Euros turnover of the European book publishing industry- This share reaches 40% if academic and scientific publishing are added . Educational publishers have been investing in digital technologies to provide teachers and pupils with the professionally published content which they need.

The Federation of European Publishers represents 28 national publishers associations of the European Union and European Economic Areas countries. FEP is the voice of the book publishing industry in Europe and represents the views of the sector on issues such as copyright or taxation. For more information, contact abergman@fep-fee.eu or 00-32-2-770-11-10

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