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Heading towards ET 2020

Another step in shaping the education and training policy framework beyond 2010 was taken at the beginning of May, this time by the EU member states. Reunited in the Council for Education, Youth and Culture (EYC), the representatives of the 27 EU countries agreed to intensify their cooperation (as well as the cooperation with the European Commission) to further reform their education and training systems, in the next decade.

The newly adopted document, Council Conclusions on a strategic framework for European cooperation in education and training (ET 2020), builds on the communication forwarded some months ago to the Council (and the related institutions) by the European Commission (see ACA Newsletter – Education Europe, January 2009). The conclusions take on the four priority areas set in the Commission’s communication for the decade ahead and highlight some of the key actions to be undertaken during the first work cycle (2009-2011). In addition, the Council document revises the five benchmarks used to measure the progress made by education and training systems at the European level. The benchmarks (i.e. reference levels of European average performance) encompass all lifelong learning areas, and should be reached collectively, rather than individually, by member states.

With this new policy document on the table, all eyes are now on the European Council, which is to meet next month.