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Informal video conference of education ministers, 19 February 2021

Met dank overgenomen van Raad van de Europese Unie (Raad), gepubliceerd op vrijdag 19 februari 2021, 19:00.

Main results

Education ministers met on 19 February 2019 through videoconference to discuss how to best address persisting challenges in equal access, inclusion and educational success for all in education and training. The presidency informed ministers on efforts towards the establishment of the new framework for European cooperation in education and training until 2030, including the achievement of the European Education Area. The presidency also informed ministers on its initiative to launch an online platform facilitating data sharing between the member states on coping with the COVID-19 pandemic in education and training.

Improving equity in access and inclusion for all in education is a non-stop concern, effort and objective. Today's discussions are an excellent basis to renew our political commitment towards this objective: we plan to adopt Council conclusions on this topic during our next meeting in May. We now have several EU funding schemes at our disposal, like the Erasmus+ and the new Recovery and Resilience Facility, that can provide the necessary financial support to start implementing actions and reforms.

Tiago Brandão Rodrigues, Minister of Education of Portugal

In a public session, ministers exchanged views on the best policy practices and shared exemplary achievements towards achieving equity in access, inclusion for all in education at EU, national, regional and local levels. Several ministers reiterated the heavy impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on education, stressed the importance of face-to-face learning and focused on the need to promote further pre-school education. Ministers also highlighted the need to ease the access to education for children and adults with special educational needs, for immigrants and refugees, and for those in risk of social exclusion. Following this policy debate, the presidency will work with the member states to adopt Council conclusion on this topic during the next meeting of education ministers in May 2021.

The presidency also informed ministers on a Council resolution on a strategic framework for European cooperation in education and training towards the European Education Area and beyond (2021-2030). The Council approved this resolution on 18 February 2021 through a written procedure. The presidency highlighted the five strategic priorities of the resolution together:

  • Improving quality, equity, inclusion and success for all in education and training.
  • Making lifelong learning and mobility a reality for all.
  • Enhancing competences and motivation in the education profession.
  • Reinforcing European higher education.
  • Supporting the green and digital transitions in and through education and training.

The resolution includes concrete suggested actions for all five priorities as well as some indicative EU level targets such as: reducing low achieving students in basic and digital skills, early leavers from education (less than 9% in 2030), increase the share of tertiary level attainment and more.

  • Council Resolution on a strategic framework for European cooperation in education and training towards the European Education Area and beyond (2021-2030) (Link to the document will be soon available)

The chair also informed ministers on presidency initiative to launch an online platform to data sharing between the member states on how to be best address the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic in education and training. The presidency shared a first analysis of the data gathered through the platform highlighting progress in areas like digitalization but also the way schools have found solutions to face pandemic constraints throughout the member states providing innovative tools, open educational resources and practical examples.

Meeting information

  • Meeting n°VC-EDUCATION-19022021
  • Video conference
  • 19 February 2021
  • 10:00

Preparatory documents

Outcome documents


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