A draft joint report by the Commission calls for strengthening cooperation in education and training up to 2020 and especially to promote social inclusion. The Commission is proposing to strengthen cooperation at European level in the field of education and training up to 2020. Its draft of a joint report by the Commission and Member States calls for making European education and training systems more socially inclusive, as part of the wider efforts to tackle radicalisation following the 2015 attacks in Paris and Copenhagen.
The report proposes a sharper policy focus to better address the most pressing challenges facing our society. The six new priorities identified in the report include improving people’s skills and employment prospects and creating open, innovative and digital learning environments, while at the same time cultivating fundamental values of equality, non-discrimination and active citizenship.
Tibor Navracsics, EU Commissioner for Education, Culture, Youth and Sport, said: “Young Europeans are facing common challenges that need joint responses. The threat of radicalisation shows how urgently we need to improve education prospects across all our communities. Together with education ministers we will strengthen our joint work to reduce early school leaving, counter social exclusion and support diverse classrooms all over Europe.”
Marianne Thyssen, EU Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs, Skills and Labour Mobility, added: “Youth Employment is a top priority for this Commission. Relevant and high-quality skills are needed more than ever to find a job today. Better cooperation in education and training will help to raise skills and competence levels to tackle skills mismatches and thus support young Europeans to successfully enter the labour market.”
The Council is expected to adopt the report by the end of the year. The report also proposes to set the new priorities for 5 years, replacing previous 3 year cycles, to enable a longer-term impact. The six new priorities proposed by the Commission are:
- Relevant and high-quality skills and competences, focusing on results, for employability, innovation and active citizenship;
- Inclusive education, equality, non-discrimination and promotion of civic competences;
- Open and innovative education and training, including by fully embracing the digital era;
- Strong support for educators;
- Transparency and recognition of skills and qualifications to facilitate learning and labour mobility; and
- Sustainable investment, performance and efficiency of education and training systems.
Established in May 2009, Education and Training 2020 (ET 2020) offers Member States, the Commission and education institutions a forum to exchange best practices, information and advice for policy reforms. The Commission coordinates this tool of cooperation. The ET 2020 strategic framework covers learning of all forms and at all levels of the lifelong learning process, including early childhood education and schools through to higher education, vocational education and training and adult learning.
In 2014, the Commission and Member States started a mid-term stocktaking exercise to assess progress made since 2012 and to help prepare the next priorities for cooperation in education and training at European level. As part of this exercise, an independent evaluation, several national reports and consultations with national officials, European social partners and other education and training stakeholders were carried out during 2014. The conclusions of this analysis are reflected in the draft ET 2020 Joint Report, presented by the Commission. In November, the Commission will also present the 2015 Education and Training Monitor, a yearly analysis of progress towards education targets set under the Europe 2020 strategy. The main headline targets include early school leaving and completion of tertiary education levels.
The Commission will shortly also put forward the draft EU Youth Report, which reports on European cooperation in the youth field in the period 2013-2015. This Report will address priority issues such as youth unemployment, social inclusion and youth participation.