Stay in the loop! Subscribe to our mailing list

Estonian Presidency – upcoming priorities and events in education

Estonia will for the first time hold the Presidency of the Council of the European Union for the bi-annual period from July to December 2017. The Estonian Presidency seeks to fulfil its role in ensuring ‘the EU remains united and decisive’ by working along four general priority lines
  • An open and innovative European economy
  • A safe and secure Europe
  • A digital Europe and the free flow of data
  • An inclusive and sustainable Europe


Education will play a key role in the fourth priority and under the motto ‘‘Unity through Balance’’, the Estonian Presidency’s contribution in the field of education will broadly address modernising school and higher education, rules to enhance labour mobility and the free movement of people, ensuring citizens to have equal labour market and social inclusion prospects, taking forward initiatives of the New Skills Agenda for Europe, investing in Europe’s youth including the next EU Youth Strategy and recently launched European Solidarity Corps.

Concerning the priorities in higher education Council conclusions will follow in response to the recently published Communication on a renewed EU agenda for higher education, as well as discussions on challenges in the sector with a view to concrete proposals for future policy actions. The presidency aims to achieve an agreement by November on the Commission’s graduate tracking initiative in tertiary education and of young people in vocational education and training (VET). Efforts in research and Innovation will be fed by results of the interim evaluation of Horizon2020, towards proposals for the next generation of the programme.  The presidency seeks to also advance two specific priorities - the promotion of links and the impact between research excellence, innovation and society, as well as advancing a more coherent and accessible funding programme and a successful partnering approach for the next Framework Programme.    

Presidency events planned in the field of education are as follows:

15-16 June 2017, Tallinn - High Level Group on Education

3 meetings of Directors General in Tallinn: DG Schools on 18-19 September, DG Higher Education on 12-13 October and DG VET on 9-10 October;

19-20 September, Tallinn - Presidency conference on education

27-28 September - Seminar of the Lifelong Guidance Policy Network (ELGPN)

4-5 October, Tallinn - PLA of ET2020 working group on digital skills and competences

8-9 November, Tartu - Meeting of the Bologna Follow-up Group (BFUG)

More information on priorities and scheduled events in further fields of education, including youth as well as research and innovation, can be found here