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After having signed a preliminary declaration of intent in 2019, the Benelux countries and the Baltic states concluded an agreement to allow automatic recognition of higher education qualifications on 27 September 2021.
Thanks to this agreement - the first of its kind in Europe - qualifications obtained in any of the six signatory countries can be used to pursue higher education degrees, such as master’s degrees and doctorates, in any other state falling under this agreement. This will facilitate international cooperation and student mobility between the signatories and pave the way for even more countries to join the agreement.
The Benelux countries and the Baltic states already had in place mutual recognition agreements for higher qualifications, but this is the most extensive convention in this area yet. In the future, any EEA member state will be able to join this agreement to extend the automatic recognition of higher education qualifications, streamlining a process that presently can be expensive and time consuming. However, states that intend to join this agreement must adhere to the European Qualification Framework for Lifelong Learning, ratify the Lisbon Convention, and have a quality assurance system in place.