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Placing the spotlight on the field of education, The Council adopted a recommendation on the European Qualifications Framework (EQF) for lifelong learning. By establishing a common reference framework for national qualifications systems, the aim will be to improve comparability and portability of qualifications across the Union. While taking into account differences between national qualification systems, member states are asked to take measures to ensure qualification documents issued by authorities contain a clear reference to the EQF level. The EYCS council meeting also addressed the proposal for the revision of the common framework on the provision of better services for skills and qualifications - Europass - which seeks to make improvements in response to technological developments as well as changing labour market, education and training landscapes, increasingly conditioned on digitalisation trends. The Council took note that a successful Europass revision would include the integration of EQF and the European Skills, Competences, Qualifications and Occupations framework (ESCO) as well as improved governance. Both the EQF and the decision on Europass were welcomed as essential components of the New Skills Agenda for Europe, by raising both mobility and employability of learners and citizens.
The council stressed that the 30th anniversary of Erasmus+ coincides with the milestone event of the 60th anniversary of the Treaty of Rome, where student mobility made a significant contribution in forging common values among young people and a sense of European citizenship. On this occasion, the Commission informed the Council on the upcoming Education Summit in January 2018, on the theme ‘Inclusion in Diversity’, addressing priorities such as inequality and low achievement of basic skills.
Conclusions were adopted on an EU strategy for international cultural relations, which follows a joint communication of the Commission and the EU high representative, and aims to develop a platform of experts across policy areas, ranging from education to foreign affairs and development cooperation, to drive synergies and effective strategy implementation. The council stressed the importance of measures to be carried out at international level, including parties as the Council of Europe and UNESCO.Press release: Outcome of The Council meeting Education, Youth, Culture and Sport Brussels, 22 and 23 May 2017