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From Copenhagen to Helsinki: news in VET

On 5 December, the informal meeting of the EU ministers of vocational education and training was concluded with the Helsinki Communiqué. The document summarises the challenges and reviews the priorities for European cooperation on vocational education and training (VET), in the context of the Copenhagen process.

Some key elements of the Communiqué are:
  • a highlighted need to develop, by 2010, common tools to support the mobility of students and workers, and facilitate the recognition of vocational qualifications. Among the tools are the European Qualifications Framework (EQF), the European credit system for vocational education and training ECVET (see ACA Newsletter – Education Europe, November 2006), and the already operational EUROPASS;
  • a target to build a statistical system in VET by 2008, when the next follow-up ministerial meeting is scheduled;
The recent meeting was attended by representatives from 33 countries - like the Bologna Process, the Copenhagen Process exceeds the EU borders. According to the Council press release, the adoption of the Communiqué implies the move to an implementation phase of the Copenhagen Process. It is to be seen how far this implementation gets - by the magic year 2010. Finland’s EU Presidency: The Helsinki Communiqué