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German presidency: a short story of a Europe of knowledge

The German presidency will begin with a “big bang” in education and research: it coincides with the launch of two major programmes, the Seventh Research Framework programme (FP7) and the new Lifelong Learning programme. These two initiatives strongly shape the priorities of the upcoming presidency, which were presented by Federal Minister of Education and Research Annette Schavan on 14 December. “We do not only want to administer, but we will above all shape” [the programmes], she said. Overall, the priorities of Finnish presidency will be further developed and concretised, “on the way to a Europe of knowledge”.

The following points were stressed in particular, in addition to shaping and implementing the two FP7 and the Lifelong Learning programme:


  • Promotion of innovation in private and public sectors;
  • Use of other EU financing instruments (e.g. structural funds) to boost innovation and research and to better integrate the new member states into the European Research Area;
  • Launch an initiative for an intellectual property charter at public research institutions and universities;


  • Further implement Education and Training 2010;
  • Further develop the European Qualifications Framework;
  • Develop a credit point system for vocational training (ECVET).

The two big launch events for FP 7 and the Lifelong Learning programme will take place on 15 and 16 January 2007 in Bonn (FP7) and 5 to 7 May 2007 in Berlin (Lifelong Learning).