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On 20 November 2012, the European Commission issued a communication entitled Rethinking Education: Investing in skills for better socio-economic outcomes. The European Council has now responded to this communication, as well as to the 2013 Annual Growth Survey in the form of Council conclusions.
Against the backdrop of the continuing economic crisis and high unemployment, particularly amongst young people, the communication addresses central issues of education and training in the EU. The Council underlines the key role of education and training for growth and competitiveness, and of investments in people for combatting unemployment and preparing a labour-market rebound. It underscores the importance of skills, training, education and lifelong learning in preventing youth unemployment by addressing its “root causes”, many of which the earlier communication had identified.
The Council makes a number of recommendations to member states and the European Commission. It intends to support member countries in their efforts to improve the quality of their education and training systems, amongst other things through making full use of EU education and training programmes.Council of the European Union – Conclusions