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Council Resolution – new Strategic Framework for Education and Training 2030

On 18 February 2021, the Council of the European Union approved the new Resolution on a strategic framework for European cooperation in education and training towards the European Education Area and beyond (2021-2030). The framework sets 5 strategic priorities for the next decade: 

  1. Improving quality, equity, inclusion and success for all in education and training 
  2. Making lifelong learning and mobility a reality for all 
  3. Enhancing competences and motivation in the education profession 
  4. Reinforcing European higher education 
  5. Supporting the green and digital transitions in and through education and training  

According to the resolution, the period up to 2030 will be divided into two cycles, with the first cycle covering the 5 years from 2021 to 2025, following the timeline proposed for the achievement of the European Education Area (EEA) by 2025. The second cycle spans to 2030.  

The Council will agree on specific priority areas for European cooperation defined for each cycle in line with the new strategy and the EEA . Annex 3 lists the priority areas for the first cycle , each supported by specific issues and proposed actions. In the field of higher education, reference is made, inter alia, to: 

  • fully rolling-out the European Universities initiative,  
  • updating the learning mobility framework, while fostering green and digital mobility, including by blending online and physical exchanges, and encouraging balanced mobility, 
  • working towards the full implementation of the Council Recommendation on promoting automatic mutual recognition (2018). 

The resolution also sets seven related EU level targets. In the field of higher education, the target is to have at least 45% of 25-34 year-olds with tertiary education attainment by 2030.  

Attending the informal Education Council videoconference meeting on 19 February, where Portuguese Presidency briefly presented the resolution, Commissioner Mariya Gabriel announced the Commission will propose later this year the governance structure for the strategic framework, which functions based on the open method of coordination.  

Tiago Brandão Rodrigues, Minister of Education of Portugal also informed the ministers on the Portuguese Presidency’s plans to launch an online platform facilitating data sharing between the member states on coping with the COVID-19 pandemic in education and training. 


The new Strategic Framework 2030 is the successor of the ET 2020 framework, which outlined four common EU objectives: 

  • Make lifelong learning and mobility a reality. 
  • Improve the quality and efficiency of education and training. 
  • Promote equity, social cohesion, and active citizenship. 
  • Enhance creativity and innovation, including entrepreneurship, at all levels of education and training. 

Progress towards the EU targets is monitored annually via the Education and Training Monitor. See the related ACA Newsletter article of November 2020, to see the progress towards the  ET 2020 targets. 

ACA and its members have been consistently working on removing barriers to academic mobility and in progress towards attaining the learning mobility benchmark (20% of graduates by 2020 with a learning mobility experience). It has thus supported the related strategic priorities of ET 2020. The association will provide support to the implementation of the new strategic framework in the next decade.