First European Education Summit

Brussels, 25 January 2018 #EduSummitEU

Registration closed #EduSummitEU

Laying the foundations of the European Education Area: for an innovative, inclusive and values-based education

Hosted by Tibor Navracsics, EU Commissioner for Education, Culture, Youth and Sport, the First  European Education Summit took place on 25 January 2018, in Brussels. 

It invited EU education ministers, education practitioners, stakeholders and business leaders to explore:

  • how better to address inequality in education systems
  • how citizens can benefit from a future European Education Area
  • how education can help transmit our common values
  • what competences will be needed for the decades to come

“As we look to Europe's future, we need to equip ourselves with an ambitious, shared agenda for how we can use learning as a driver for unity. Education is key because it is education that equips us with the skills we need to become active members of our increasingly complex societies. It is education that helps us adapt to a rapidly changing world, to develop a European identity, to understand other cultures and to gain the new skills one needs in a society that is mobile, multicultural and increasingly digital.”

Tibor Navracsics – European Commissioner for Education, Culture, Youth and Sport

About the event

Quality and inclusive education and life-long learning were considered essential to enable Europeans to participate fully in society and in the labour market. The Summit also emphasised the critical role that education plays in ensuring social cohesion, referring to education as "the great equaliser". 

The Summit explored how to capture the latest knowledge and insights in order to work towards a European Education Area, built on common goals, by 2025, in particular making mobility a reality for all, creating a network of European Universities and promoting lifelong learning. 

The participants emphasised the need to also focus on the teaching profession, promoting education in science, technology, engineering and mathematics, as well as common values and the European identity, and to address the technological revolution and ways for better attuning education systems to future challenges. 

The Summit was very useful to inspire the proposals for the future Erasmus+ programme and the new policy initiatives on mutual recognition, languages, and early childhood education and care that the Commission will present in spring 2018.




Download the programme


Session Formats

Masterclass: A lecture style presentation with an expert on good practices and an opportunity for participants to ask questions

Policy pitch: A short presentation providing an overview of a future policy/initiative followed by brief interventions from participants. Essentially, a brainstorm

Your questions answered. A Conversation with…: A one-on-one discussion between a moderator and guest with the aim being to provide participants with an opportunity to ask questions/converse with the guest

Workshop: A more practical hands-on session dedicated to exploring a specific issue or theme

Panel: An interactive discussion bringing together diverse views



Participant registration


Opening statement

  • Tibor Navracsics – European Commissioner for Education, Culture, Youth and Sport


Keynote interventions

  • Samantha Cristoferetti - ESA Astronaut
  • Audrey Azoulay – Director General of UNESCO



Greetings from the Bulgarian Presidency of the Council of the EU

  • Krasimir Valchev – Minister of Education and Science of Bulgaria

09:50 -10:00

Musical Interlude

  • Démos Orchestra, Lille


High level panel discussion:
Countdown to 2025 – A vision for the European Education Area

  • Tibor Navracsics – European Commissioner for Education, Culture, Youth and Sport
  • Jean-Michel Blanquer – Minister for Education of France
  • Petra Kammerevert – Chair of the Committee on Culture and Education, European Parliament
  • Anna Ekström – Minister for Upper Secondary School and Adult Education and Training of Sweden
  • Zoltán Balog - Minister of Human Capacities of Hungary

The European Education Area 2025


Parallel sessions

1.1 Panel:Excellence, autonomy and recognition, is that what teachers need?

  • Jolanta Okuniewska – Teacher and Finalist for the Global Teacher Prize 2016
  • Evgenia Peeva-Kirova – Founder and CEO, Teach for Bulgaria
  • Marie-Martine Schyns – Minister for Education of the Fédération Wallonie-Bruxelles

1.2 Masterclass:What can we (EU) do for you? A presentation of EU support opportunities

  • Marta Gutierrez Benet, Bodo Richter – DG Education, Youth, Sport and Culture
  • Maëva Roulette, DG Employment
  • Patricia Perez-Gomez, Structural Reform Support Service
  • Patricia Wruuck, Economist, Economics Department of the European Investment Bank

1.3 Masterclass: How to raise quality and equity in school education? From principles to practice

  • Kay Livingston – Professor of Educational Research, Policy and Practice, University of Glasgow, School of Education

1.4 Panel: Education and Training Monitor: Evidence and education policy agenda

  • Bartek Lessaer – DG Education, Youth, Sport and Culture, Education and Training Monitor 2017 Coordinator
  • Dr Kristina Hauschildt – Eurostudent project coordinator, German Center for Higher Education Research and Science Studies (DZHW)
  • Daniele Checchi – Professor of Economics, University of Milan
  • Mary Mitchell O’Connor – Minister of State for Higher Education of Ireland

1.5 Panel:Who is afraid to invest in education?

  • Ambroise Fayolle – Vice-President, EIB
  • Matias Rodriguez Inciarte – President of Santander Universidades, Grupo Santander
  • Līga Lejiņa – State Secretary, Ministry of Education and Science of Latvia

1.6 Panel:The Future European Education Area: A view from our social partners and civil society

  • Susan Flocken – European Director, European Trade Union Committee for Education
  • Daniel Wisniewski – General Secretary, European Federation of Education Employers
  • Luis Alvarado Martinez – President, European Youth Forum
  • David Lopez – President, Lifelong Learning Platform
  • Maxime Cerutti – Director of Social affairs department, BUSINESSEUROPE

1.7 Policy pitch: Education without values, education at all?

  • François - Xavier Bellamy – Philosopher, author and deputy mayor of Versailles


Lunch and visit of the Ideas in Action Exhibit

Commissioner Navracsics hosts lunch at the Panoramic Hall for the Ministers and Speakers

Basic Skills And Inclusive Education


High level panel discussion:
Back to basics: how much do we lose when basic skills aren't properly taught and values aren't promoted?

  • Tiago Brandão Rodrigues – Minister for Education of Portugal
  • Iñigo Méndez De Vigo – Minister of Education, Culture and Sport of Spain
  • Dr Maja Makovec Brenčič – Minister of Education, Science and Sport of the Republic of Slovenia
  • Margit Timakov – Master teacher, President of the Estonian Association of Teachers


Parallel sessions

2.1 Policy pitch:Engaging with disadvantaged pupils to ensure no one is left behind

  • Evarist Bartolo – Minister for Education and Employment of Malta
  • Manuela Prajea – Teacher,Traian National College in Romania
  • Pablo Pineda – Diversity Consultant, Adecco Foundation/ Francisco Mesonero – Director - General, Adecco Foundation
  • Francesco Mesonero – Director-General, Adecco Foundation

2.2 Your questions answered: The earlier the better, why a good start will make the difference.

  • Céline Alvarez – Activist and author

2.3 Masterclass: Inclusive education, experiences from the frontline.

  • Caroline Boswell – Head of Education and Youth, Greater London Authority, Mayor's Office
  • Éric Mestrallet – President, Espérance Banlieues

2.4 Masterclass:Accessible Higher education no matter where you come from – Learning from the Trinity Access Programme

  • Patrick Prendergast – Provost, Trinity College Dublin, the University of Dublin
  • Jean-Claude Marcourt – Vice - Minister - President and Minister for Higher Education, Research and the Media of the Fédération Wallonie-Bruxelles

2.5 Masterclass:The power of culture to foster cohesion

  • Szilveszter Ókovács – General Director, Hungarian State Opera
  • Cristina Gamna Marchini – Head of School and Education Department, FAI – Fondo Ambiente Italiano, Apprendisti Ciceroni project
  • Peter De Caluwé – Director, La Monnaie
  • Clara Wagner – Director, Public and International Affairs, Philharmonie de Paris

2.6 Panel:On your mark, get set, go! Learning through sport

  • David Casinos – Paralympic gold medalist
  • Liesbeth Wyns – BX Community
  • Lívia Járóka – Member of the European Parliament

A glimpse of the future, what skills for the decades to come?


Panel: Aptitudes or attitudes? Are resilience and transversal skills what society and employers need?

  • Hilde Crevits – Vice-Minister President of the Flemish Government and Flemish Minister for Education
  • Ingrid van Engelshoven – Minister for Education, Culture and Science of the Netherlands
  • Péter Halácsy – Co-founder of Prezi and Director of the Budapest School
  • Tom Hall – General Manager, LEGO Education International
  • Marja Makarow – Professor and Director, Biocenter Finland


Parallel sessions

3.1 Panel: Is there a role for the private sector in teaching digital competences?

  • Rodrigo Del Prado – Deputy General Manager, BQ
  • Alberto Valero – Director, Educational Projects, BQ
  • Piotr Pluta – Director, Corporate Affairs, Cisco

3.2 Workshop: From digital skills to a digital culture, being digitally competent in all aspects of life

  • Panagiotis Kampylis – SELFIE Project Leader, Joint Research Centre, European Commission
  • Dr Anita Breuer – Co-founder, CEO, Logiscool
  • Eva Maydell – Member of the European Parliament

3.3 Masterclass: The hidden charm of STEM: how to make them more attractive?

  • David Calle – Teacher and Nominee for the Global Teacher Prize 2017
  • Jean-Luc Richter – Physics and Chemistry teacher, Vice President of Science on Stage France
  • Dr Blaženka Divjak – Minister of Science and Education of the Republic of Croatia

3.4 Panel: To teach or not to teach entrepreneurship, is it still a question?

  • Merete Riisager – Minister for Education of Denmark
  • Prof Dr Ludovic Thilly – Chair of the Coimbra Group Executive Board
  • Iolanda Giovidelli – Headmaster, I.I.S. Liceale Q.O. Flacco - Portici Naples
  • Henrik Svensson, Master School Manager, EIT InnoEnergy

3.5 Workshop: Children as Actors for Transforming Society (CATS): Discover Transversal Skills through the Human Library

  • Darren Bird, Jean Gordon, Lilyana Slavova, Emily Peters and Roxanne Landais – CATS members and facilitators

3.6 Masterclass: From STEM to STEAM, when opposites attract

  • François Taddei – Teacher and Director, Centre for Research and Interdisciplinarity
  • Denitsa Sacheva –Deputy Minister of Education and Science of Bulgaria

3.7 Workshop: OPEN UP! The art of understanding and being understood

  • Representatives from 'Open UP! Let youth be heard so educate youth to debate'

Closing Session (plenary session)


Closing Remarks: Next Steps and the Way Forward

  • Martine Reicherts – Director-General, DG Education, Youth, Sport and Culture, European Commission


Closing reception and Ideas in Action Exhibition

Press contacts


If you have received an invitation, please fill in the  registration form to confirm your participation and secure a place.


Press inquiries:

Nathalie Vandystadt
+32 2 296 70 83

Joseph Waldstein
+32 2 295 61 84

Organising team: