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European Commission: towards a stronger cooperation on education

By . Published on 18 December 2017 in:
December 2017, News, , ,

In a meeting in Gothenburg (SE) on 17 November, the European Commission set out its vision for how a European Education Area could be created by 2025.

Europe’s leaders discussed the future of education and culture. The Commission believes that it is in the shared interests of all Member States to harness the full potential of education and culture as drivers for job creation, economic growth and social fairness as well as a means to experience European identity in all its diversity.

Vice-President for Jobs, Growth, Investment and Competitiveness, Jyrki Katainen said: “By 2025 we should live in a Europe in which learning, studying and doing research is not hampered by borders but where spending time in another Member State to study, learn or work is the norm.”

Meeting in Rome in March 2017, Europe’s leaders committed to creating a “Union where young people receive the best education and training and can study and find jobs across the continent.”  The primary responsibility for education and culture policies lies with the Member States, at national, regional and local levels. However, the European Union has played an important complementary role over the years. As an example, the Erasmus programme (Erasmus+ since 2014) enabled 9 million people to study, train, teach, or volunteer in another country.

Over the past decade, the European Union has also developed a series of ‘soft policy’ tools to help Member States in the design of national education policies. Since 2000, Member States have been cooperating under the ‘Framework for European cooperation in education and training’ which set common objectives and benchmarks.

On the agenda of the meeting, several concrete ideas were discussed such as:

• Step up mobility and exchanges so as to enhance the possibility for young Europeans to spend time in another European country, whether they are students or apprentices.
• Encourage the creation of a network of European Universities from different Member States, with integrated study programmes and curricula that enable students to study abroad and attend classes in at least two languages.
• Promote mutual recognition of secondary education diplomas and the development of new curricula allowing for exchanges across European high school systems.
• Promote multilinguism by aiming at all students speaking at least two additional European languages.

The aim of the meeting was to develop actions at a European level over the coming years.

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