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Video conference of education ministers, 30 November 2020

Met dank overgenomen van Raad van de Europese Unie (Raad), gepubliceerd op maandag 30 november 2020, 23:30.

Main results

Solidarity for the victims of terrorist attacks in Europe

To mark their commitment to freedom of expression and European values, ministers expressed solidarity with the victims of recent terrorist attacks in Europe.

Shaping the European Education Area and the next strategic framework for European cooperation in education and training - the way forward (policy debate)

Ministers held a debate on the goals and priorities of the cooperation in education and training among member states in order to achieve a European Education Area by 2025.

Ministers' discussion was structured around the following questions:

  • taking into account the overall objective of achieving the European Education Area by 2025, what are in your view the most relevant strategic goals and priority issues that the Member States cooperation in the field of education and training should focus on in the next 5 to 10 years?
  • against this background, how do you see the five proposed EU-level targets[1] to be reached by 2030?

Ministers confirmed the member states' support for the European Education Area and its main goals and welcomed the Commission communication 'Achieving the European Education Area by 2025' published on 30 September 2020. They identified some open questions, such as the governance mechanism of the European Education Area and the Union level targets proposed to be reached by 2030.

Many ministers called for a continuity in relation to the current governance structure and shared the view that national competences need to be respected. Delegations also argued that existing and tested cooperation mechanisms, such as those within the framework of the Bologna process, have to continue to function.

Ministers also highlighted the importance to create and use synergies between programmes and initiatives, such as the European Research Area and the European Skills Agenda.

Ministers showed broad consensus on the need to put the upskilling and training of teachers and educators at the heart of the efforts to build the European Education Area. Some delegations suggested to offer a better career prospects to teachers and educators and to find ways to ensure the attractiveness of the teaching profession.

On the EU level targets set in the Commission communication and proposed to be reached by 2030, many ministers insisted on taking into account national circumstances and specificities, and called for the development of indicators which would take into account the diversity of national educational systems.

Quality of education, enhanced language learning, increased mobility, gender equality and mutual recognition of qualifications were among the priorities mentioned in order to successfully build the European Education Area.

Other business

In a public session, the presidency provided information about the state of the negotiations on the Erasmus+ regulation 2021-2027.

The presidency also informed ministers about:

  • the Council Recommendation on vocational education and training (VET) for sustainable competitiveness, social fairness and resilience;
  • and the Council conclusions on digital education in Europe's knowledge societies.

Ministers received an updated information about the state-of-play in EU member states, EFTA and EEA countries in coping with COVID-19 in education and training.

The incoming Portuguese presidency of the Council presented its priorities in the area of Education.

[1] In its Communication on achieving the European Education Area by 2025, the Commission has set the following targets to track progress on education and training:

  • the share of low-achieving 15-year-olds in reading, mathematics and science should be less than 15%;
  • the share of low-achieving eighth-graders in computer and information literacy should be less than 15%;
  • at least 98% of children between 3 years old and the starting age for compulsory primary education should participate in early childhood education;
  • the share of people aged 20-24 years old with at least an upper secondary qualification should be 90%;
  • the share of 30-34 year-olds with tertiary educational attainment should be at least 50%.

Meeting information

  • Meeting n°VC-EDU-301120
  • Video conference
  • 30 November 2020
  • 15:00

Preparatory documents

Outcome documents


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