Date & Venue:
07/03/2012, Danilovgrad, Former Yugoslav Republic of Montenegro
Conclusions from the Launch of the Western Balkans Platform for Education and Training in Danilovgrad, on 7 March 2012. More information on the event is available in the agenda(103 kB)
All Delegations from the Ministries indicated their strong support for the Western Balkans Platform for Education and Training (PET) and commitment to cooperate fully with EU and with each other under in this new initiative. Presentations were made by each country on good practices in education policy as well as their plans for adoption of new policies in line with EU strategies.
The topic of the skills challenge in Europe which the EU presented found fertile ground in the Western Balkans. The proposal to use existing instruments such as TAIEX (the Technical Assistance and Information Exchange Instrument), LAF (Local Administration Facility) and Twinning in order to receive assistance and expertise from EU as well as to organise study visits to EU Member State administrations was stressed for this and other policy areas.
The information provided from the EU side on programme and policy support was appreciated, especially the new opportunities for WB countries to participate fully in the Centralised Actions of the Lifelong Learning Programme.
Ministries seemed pleased to be able to work at regional level on common priority topics and agreed with the Directorate General for Enlargement's (DG ELARG) plans to link policy with financial assistance and to have this Platform provide input into the region's needs assessment.
All the Ministries agreed that higher education and teacher training were of vital importance to their education systems. Several countries would like to have assistance with gathering of data and statistics on education for evidence-based policy-making. Others requested assistance for National Qualifications Frameworks (NQF).
In addition, the group asked for assistance in identifying and sharing examples of good projects conducted with EU funds/programmes (to be presented at a later meeting or spin-off activity). It was agreed that the Platform should have a steering nature and meet once a year at high level. Other spin-off activities and/or projects should be undertaken in between Platform meetings and a report of the former will be presented to the latter.
It was decided to hold a regional policy dialogue event on higher education issues in 2012.