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As of 1 January 2011 Hungary is in an EU leadership role, holding the rotating Presidency of the Council of the European Union for the first half of the year. Hungary took over this task from Belgium and announced its intention to continue building not only on the work of its immediate predecessor, but also on that of Spain – the member state which held the Presidency in the first semester of 2010. In the operational programme of the Hungarian government, education and educational matters are given an important role. The country has underlined its commitment to contribute to the achievement of the Europe 2020 Strategy objectives, in particular the planned reduction in the rate of early-school leaving to below 10% and the increase in higher education attainment rates among 30- to 34-year-olds to at least 40%.
The higher education agenda of the Presidency pays special attention to the promotion of learning mobility and to improving the quality of mobility-related services, but also to intensifying the potential of education and training to foster employability. The Presidency will also seek to support and contribute to the Modernisation Agenda of universities, focusing on the “governance aspects of diversification and quality of higher education”.
As for its research-related agenda, the Hungarian Presidency announced its continued support of the work of the Budapest-based European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT) and its plans to contribute to the adoption of EIT’s first (seven-year) Strategic Innovation Agenda. The Presidency also announced its intentions to contribute to the interim evaluation of the 7th Framework Programme, which should inform and support the preparation of the 8th Framework, and which will hopefully better exploit possible synergies between national and EU-level funding, to the benefit of individual researchers.
The operational programme and the calendar of education and research-related events can be consulted on the Hungarian Presidency’s website.
Hungarian Presidency of the Council of the European Union