Non-state universities: Justice will decide on their operation says Parliament’s scientific service

Greek justice will be the one that will judge the issue of the establishment and operation in our country for the , says its scientific service . The Scientific Service of the House in the report on the bill on non-state universities says that “in the light of the provisions of the Constitution, the case-law of the Council of State (OLS 3457/1998 and others), the fact that higher education belongs, on its own initiative, to the Member States of the Union, the newest case-law of the Court of Justice of the European Union, […] in relation to the Greek legal order, and the interpretation of the Constitution understood as objective, the issue will be judged, as can almost certainly be assumed, by Greek justice, given that the issues which can be raised since the passage of the draft law under discussion have not been addressed, in their specific form, justice, national and Union”. In more detail, the Scientific Service of the House states: ‘..two possible possibilities are identified as to the possibility of providing Greece with higher education from branches of foreign universities and the academic recognition of the qualifications awarded: First of all, the case law confirms the interpretation to date which I have held in it, which is part of the theory, considering, first, that the grammatical wording of constitutional regulation yields a clear negative position, which cannot be overturned in the context of interpretative adaptation (in contrast, for example, to the case of the imposition of tuition to postgraduate studies, for which the OLSE is not able to be overturned in the context of interpretative adjustment (in the case of the imposition of tuition to graduate studies). 2411/2012 accepted that the editorial legislator did not have in mind, in 1975, the institutional framework and the cost of operating graduate studies (paragraph 8) and, secondly, that the exercise of the fundamental freedoms of Union law is adequately protected by the recognition of professional rights in foreign university qualifications awarded for studies in national annexes, the operation of which may also be subject to public supervision. Secondly, to change the case law, and to accept that Article 16(5), in which higher education is provided ‘exclusively’ by institutions which are legal persons governed by public law, refers only to domestic institutions, as it assumed, interpreting Article 16(8), the minority in Olsche 3457/1998, and supported by part of the theory. Such an interpretation would be inspired by the fact that, in the field of the European Union, there are relatives, in relation to domestic regulation, characteristics, in legal classes which are similarly interested in the particular nature and social mission of higher education, so that the reduction of universal exclusion in favour of foreign institutions bearing such characteristics may be considered compatible with the ratio of the country’s Constitution. This interpretation is compatible with Union law as it concerns the organisation referred to in Article 165 TFEU of the national education system. At the same time, in the view that the case-law of the WEU, as set out in the Latvia case, would apply, the protection and compliance of these characteristics may, within European educational and cultural diversity, establish an urgent public interest within the meaning of the WEU case-law. Furthermore, the exclusion of the provision of higher education which does not have such characteristics (but, for example, involves a pursuit of profit) should be considered to be in line with the principle of proportionality, as it does not affect the existing system of recognition of professional rights acquired by studies provided in the context of speculative educational activity (see, in this respect, observation C. I. and the caselaw cited there). It is understandable that, in the context of such an objective interpretation, paragraph 8 of Article 16 of the Constitution would be interpreted closely and in its letter, namely that it concerns and prohibits only the establishment, within the meaning of the establishment of higher schools by individuals, rather than the establishment in Greece already existing in foreign and recognised universities that meet the relevant conditions. In this context, and in the light of the social mission of education, as it is meant by the Greek Constitution, the annexes of the foreign higher educational institutions can only have a non-profit nature, with the sole purpose of promoting education, research and culture, and with meritocracy guaranteed, accessibility, academic freedom of members of the academic community and a certain degree of internal self-government on academic issues. Finally, the theory is supported, and the view that the issue belongs exclusively to the regulatory field of European Union law, with the thought that it concerns the conditions under which foreign S.E.I.s. may be established and offer services to Greece, i.e. within the single market. This position also requires a change in the case law which, according to the above (box II), distinguishes between academic and professional recognition. This view argues, in this regard, that refusal to recognise academic rights constitutes a discrimination under EU law. or, in any event, impedes the freedom of establishment, in a way which cannot, in itself, be objectively justified. In the light of the provisions of the Constitution, the case-law of the Council of State (OLS 3457/1998 and others), the fact that higher education belongs, on its own initiative, to the Member States of the Union, to the newer case law of the Court of Justice of the European Union, as analysed above in relation to the Greek legal order, and to the interpretation of the Constitution understood as objective, the issue will be judged, as can almost certainly be assumed, by Greek justice, given that the issues which can be raised by the passage of the promised draft law have not been dealt with, in their specific form, justice, national and Union’.