Strategic plans for European co-operation on education and training
On 16 December 2008 the European Commission presented its strategic vision for co-operation between EU Member States on the reform of their education and training systems. Common challenges, such as skills deficits, ageing societies and foreign competition need joint responses, and some goals will be easier to achieve if countries learn from each other. The Commission identifies both immediate priorities for 2009-10 and long-term challenges, and suggests improved tools to meet them. These include new education and training benchmarks for monitoring progress across Europe.European education and training systems need reform to better prepare people to find jobs, to help businesses find the staff they need to succeed and innovate in the face of global competition. The quality and efficiency of education systems play a key role in supporting social inclusion, cultivating responsible citizenship and openness towards other cultures. For that, lifelong learning must become a reality across Europe so people can acquire key skills early and update them throughout their life.
While the responsibility for education and training lies with national governments, some challenges are common to all EU countries. Therefore EU Member States and the European Commission have in recent years strengthened their political co-operation in education and training at the European level. The focus is on exchanging good practice and developing common tools, in order to face common challenges. In support of future reforms in the Member States this new framework will strengthen mutual learning between them.
There are joint targets to measure the progress made by education and training systems at European level. They include the reading literacy of 15 year-olds, early school leavers, and the participation of adults in lifelong learning. The Commission proposes to review these benchmarks and to consider new benchmarks in more key areas such as tertiary education attainment, employability and student mobility.
To know more
- "An updated strategic framework for European cooperation in education and training", Communication from the Commission, COM(2008) 865, 16 December 2008
Impact Assessment, SEC(2008) 3047
- Press release: "Commission outlines strategic plans for European co-operation on education and training" [IP/08/1986 on Rapid, 16 December 2008]
- Citizens summary