Thursday, 28 September 2017


Should one be confused?
Should one care?

In November 2015, apparently acting in a private capacity, Beate Hoess-Zenker submitted a Petition to the European Parliament. The Parliament made its public reply in April 2016. The Commission understood this Petition's purpose as follows –

The petitioner asks the European Parliament for support for the introduction of the profession of conductive educator

In response, the Commission concluded –

...the Commission considers that the introduction of the profession of conductive educator is a matter for the Member States. The Commission is therefore not able to intervene on behalf of the petitioner.

Here is what the Commission published, in full –

European Parliament

Committee on Petitions



Subject: Petition No 0278/2015 by Beate Hoess-Zenker (German) on the introduction of the profession of conductive educator for the teaching of people with medical problems  

Summary of petition. The petitioner mentions the existence in Hungary of the profession of conductive educator. The field in which such people work is interdisciplinary, comprising elements of pedagogy, medicine and therapy. According to the petitioner, conductive educators perform very therapeutic work for people with disabilities and illnesses. The petitioner says that attempts have been going on for more than 20 years to introduce the profession in other EU countries as well and to organise the appropriate training there. These attempts are not supported by professional organisations in the fields of physiotherapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy and pedagogy, because financial support from health insurers would reduce the budgets for practitioners of the ‘traditional’ professions. Universities and colleges are also displaying little interest, and are not introducing courses because it is unclear whether conductive education (CE) can be funded. The petitioner notes that the CE method is recognised in Germany but not eligible for funding by health insurers, and the introduction of this method has been blocked for five years. The petitioner asks the European Parliament for support for the introduction of the profession of conductive educator.

Admissibility Declared admissible on 20 November 2015. Information requested from Commission under Rule 216(6). 

Commission reply, received on 29 April 2016. The regulation of professions/professional activities is within the Member States' competence. Every Member State can decide, within the limits of Union law and more particularly proportionality, whether or not to introduce a profession/professional activity in its legal system and how to regulate it. Member States can therefore choose how to regulate the level and content of the training required to exercise the profession, whether or not to make the membership of a professional organisation obligatory or decide if the service is eligible for reimbursement by the national social security system. In doing so Member States need to ensure that regulation is justified by on overriding reason of general interest and that it is proportionate to achieving this objective, in particular with a view to the fact that regulation of a profession impacts on access to this profession and mobility between Member States. 

There are rules agreed at EU level and laid down in Directive 2005/36/EC1 to facilitate the recognition of qualifications obtained in another EU Member State, in case a profession is regulated in a given host Member State. The so-called general system of recognition2 under this Directive applies to a holder of the qualification of conductive educator if the professional asks for access to a regulated profession in another Member State. According to this system, the host Member State assesses the equivalence of the professional qualifications of the applicant against its own requirements to exercise the profession, taking into account any evidence related to study, training and professional experience. The host Member State can impose compensatory measures in case there are substantial differences  of qualification of the applicant and its own system.


In view of the above, the Commission considers that the introduction of the profession of conductive educator is a matter for the Member States. The Commission is therefore not able to intervene on behalf of the petitioner. 

This document is of course available in all 24 official languages of the European Union

And now...

On 10 October there will be a public meeting in Brussels, a short afternoon event initiated from Hungary. Its sponsors are jointly the Pető Kar of Szemmelweis University (formerly Pető institute/College) and the European People's Party (specifically Adám Kósa a Fidesz MEP with concern for disability rights).

From Germany, the BKF (Bundesverband Konduktive Förderung – German Conductive Association) announces as follows–

...this is a meeting on future recognition of the profession of conductor

The programme comprises a series of ten-minute presentations with 20 minutes at the end to pull things together. Perhaps one or both of the hosts will be publishing all this after the event, for public consideration. Or perhaps not

  1. What is the particular purpose of the forthcoming event in Brossels and how does this tie in with the Commission's decision last year reproduced above?
  2. What in a fast-approaching future will this have to do with my own country, the UK, and vice versa. 
  3. What coherent unified understanding of Conductive Education is the audience (who they?) being asked to back?
Should I care one jot about any of this? Should anyone – here, there, anywhere?

In all this flurry of Euro-action there seems to have been no public word from its proponents of how efforts directed in this direction might benefit anyone, for example in comparison with expanding similar energy on something else. If this does not demonstrably benefit the punters, the people who might benefit from Conductive Education, then cui bono?



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