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Strategic framework – Education & Training 2020

What is the EU's role in education & training?

Each EU country is responsible for its own education and training systems. EU policy is designed to support national action and help address common challenges, such as ageing societies, skills deficits in the workforce, technological developments and global competition. Education and training 2020 (ET 2020) is the framework for cooperation in education and training.

ET 2020 is a forum for exchanges of best practices, mutual learning, gathering and dissemination of information and evidence of what works, as well as advice and support for policy reforms.

In order to ensure the successful implementation of ET 2020, Working Groups composed of experts nominated by member countries and other key stakeholders work on common EU-level tools and policy guidance.

Funding for policy support and innovative projects is available through Erasmus+ for activities that promote learning and education at all levels and for all age groups.

In 2009, ET 2020 set four common EU objectives to address challenges in education and training systems by 2020:

The following EU benchmarks for 2020 have been set for education:

What has been done so far?

In 2014, the Commission and EU countries engaged in a stocktaking exercise to assess progress made since the 2012 Joint Report and help prepare the next priorities for cooperation in education at European level.

The following contributions were received:

  • ET 2020 National Reports
  • ET 2020 independent evaluation by contractor Ecorys
  • The annual Education, Training and Youth Forum (9-10 October 2014)
  • Stakeholders' input

Drawing on the conclusions from the stocktaking, the European Commission has proposed six new priorities for 2016-2020. The Joint Report from the Commission and Member States was adopted at the November 2015 Education Council.

What is next?

Progress on the EU benchmarks is assessed annually in the Education and Training Monitor.

The European Commission and the Council of the European Union have agreed on common priorities in the area of education and training for 2020. The focus will now be on the effective implementation of those priorities, in particular through the ET 2020 Working Groups.


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