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Germany will take over from Croatia the presidency of the Council of the European Union (EU) on 1 July 2020. While most policy areas were revamped in the light of the recent global pandemic, education and research are in principle well on track with the pre-Covid19 announcements, with digital education gaining more traction as part of a wider digital transformation, as one of the priorities of the Trio presidency (Germany, Slovenia and Portugal).
In education, the priorities include reaching an agreement for the Regulation of the future Erasmus+ Programe 2021-2027 on the legislative level and Council conclusions on : Vocational education and training (VET), on the Digital Education Action Plan expected in early Autumn (after several delays) and on the European Universities Initiative.
The European Research Area (ERA) will be the main focus in the field of research with a highlight: the ministerial conference on 21 and 22 October. The conference will be preceded by a communication on the ERA in July and Council conclusions to:
„give new impetus to the collaboration between the Commission and member states; intensify synergies between different policy fields, in particular research and education; create an area, which enables researchers to pursue a genuine European career, enjoying free movement across borders and systems; better prepare the ERA for future challenges, increase its resilience and international competitiveness; upscale the ERA's external dimension, in particular towards Africa and the Western Balkans.“
On the legislative level, an agreement on the files for the future Horizon Europe Programme 2021-2027, the new regulation and agenda for strategic innovation of the European Institute of Innovation & Technology (EIT) and renewed decisions on the EURATOM research and training programme as well as the project ITER are expected.
The negotiations on streamlining and restructuring the partnership instruments in the framework of Horizon Europe will also start under the German EU Council Presidency.
More information on the DAAD website here and here.