What is it about?
Launched in 2012, this is the EU's initiative for cooperation in education with Albania, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Croatia, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Kosovo, Montenegro and Serbia.
The Director-General of EAC Chairs the annual Ministerial meetings which identify common priorities, discuss latest policy and reform measures and decide on topics for regional cooperation with EU assistance.
Why is it needed?
Although the countries in the region are committed to voluntarily converge with EU and international standards, the implementation of new policies and reforms is difficult. Each country is at a different stage and with limited resources they requested assistance.
The Platform encourages regional cooperation and communication, sharing of good practices in the region and the EU and pooling of resources. It also provides follow-up in terms of joint projects, studies and events.
The longer term perspective of the policy dialogue is to assist the Western Balkans with their reform efforts and prepare them for EU Membership responsibilities including full participation in the EU's education programmes.
What has been done so far?
To date, the platform has resulted in a number of outputs, including:
What are the next steps?
A study to be conducted in 2015 will map the higher education provision in the region in terms of degrees and qualifications and the labour market opportunities, in an attempt to study the link between the two and therefore the relevance of higher education provision to labour market needs.