Stay in the loop! Subscribe to our mailing list

French EU Council Presidency: what to expect for higher education?

On 1 January 2022, France will take Slovenia’s place at the head of the EU Council of Ministers, launching a new trio of Council presidencies alongside the Czech Republic and Sweden. 

The trio programme will focus on protecting citizens and freedoms, promoting a new growth and investment model for Europe, building a greener and more socially equitable Europe that better protects the health of Europeans, and overall aiming for a more global Europe.

To present the French presidency plan, President Emanuel Macron addressed the key points of its specific programme in his speech on 09 December 2022, highlighting the importance for moving from being a Europe of cooperation inside the EU borders to a powerful Europe in the world. Reforming the border-free Schengen area, defying a shared vision for Europe in 2030 and pursuing more European defence, were among the priorities he outlined. 

When it comes to the areas relevant to higher education institutions, according to Frédérique Vidal, Minister of Higher Education, Research and Innovation, the January-to-June 2022 French Presidency of the Council of the EU will focus on facilitating synergies between higher education, research, innovation and society.

The following priorities in the higher education field are currently being explored:

  • Fostering the in-depth implementation of the "knowledge square" combining higher education, research, innovation and services to society;
  • Taking over the work on the new international strategy for cooperation in higher education, research and innovation;
  • Preparing next steps for the full roll-out of the European Universities Initiative (EUI), aiming, among others, to deepen the sense of belonging to the European project.

One of France’s most cherished initiatives, the EUI will be at the core of the ambitions of the French Presidency in the higher education field. To support this priority area, a meeting of European universities is planned in June 2022 in France, to further advance this agenda and to highlight the importance of universities in Europe.

More information on the French presidency programme can be found here, while the 18-month Programme of the Council (1 January 2022 - 30 June 2023) can be accessed here.