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On 1 July, Austria took over the rotating EU Council Presidency from Bulgaria. The Presidency ends, as all others, after half a year. At the beginning of July, Austria unveiled the programme of its Presidency.
In (higher) education, Austria aims at pushing forward the discussions on a successor to the Strategic Framework – Education and Training 2020 (ET 2020). Likewise, Austria intends to further develop and put meat on the bones of the Macron-inspired Commission Communication “Strengthening European identity through education and culture”, which is to result in a European Education Area. Obviously, the country must - and wants to - push ahead the legislative process aiming to establish the Erasmus (non-plus) Programme (2021-2027), which is to follow onto the current Erasmus+ Programme, by trying to create within the Council an agreement on key parts of the scheme.
In research, Austria will have the task to do the same for the 9th research framework programme, which is to succeed Horizon 2020. The new programme is to continue well-established funding instruments, but it will also initiate novelties, such as the European Innovation Council. The Austrian Presidency also wants to support activities promising progress towards a Single Market for Knowledge, such as the European Open Science Cloud.
We wish our colleagues in the Austrian Federal Mystery of Education, Science and Research success and luck. They are unlikely to have many dull moments until the year is over.