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The December 2005 edition of ‘ACA Newsletter - Education Europe’ outlined the joint priorities of the Austrian and Finnish Council Presidencies in education and research. This article focuses on the Austrian priorities.
Austria has set itself an ambitious and challenging agenda. As is usual with Presidency priorities, some are dictated by the ongoing EU agenda, whereas others reflect concerns of particular importance for the Presidency country.
In terms of ongoing business, Austria will make every attempt for the 7th Research Framework Programme and the ‘Lifelong Learning Programme’ (successor of Socrates and Leonardo) to start on time in January 2006. Part of this job will be to sort out the programme budgets and hopefully avoid under-funding (see other reports in this edition). Also in the field of ongoing business, it will monitor progress towards the EU goal of research expenditure at a level of 3% of GDP, and it will coordinate reporting on progress or otherwise on the wider Lisbon aims in education and research. In the Bologna Process, Austria intends to advance the European Qualifications Framework for easier recognition. It also intends to move ahead the Quality Charter for Mobility.
More ‘indigenous’ priorities of Austria comprise cooperation with the countries of the Western Balkans, which are to be integrated into the ‘Wider European Area of Education’ and whose ministers are to be involved in EU discussions on education during the Presidency, the development of a reference framework for ‘key lifelong learning competencies’, the promotion of education for global citizenship and activities in the area of multilingualism and language competence indicators.Austrian Presidency - Policy Area: Research