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Member states to receive recommendations on key priorities for education


Under the European Semester the European Commission has selected 14 member states that are to receive country-specific recommendations, to address key education challenges and build reform in their respective education systems.

Countries selected include: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Germany, Hungary, Lithuania, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Spain.

The education reforms currently being introduced are particularly designed to:

  • Tackle early school leaving, a key education 2020 target, and improve basic skills.
  • Improve relevance and quality of the vocational system.
  • Effectively facilitate a transition to a knowledge-intensive and service oriented economy.
  • Decrease skills mismatches as well as shortages of human capacity in particular occupations. Also allowing for more flexibility in available learning paths.
  • Shape inclusive education, particularly looking to young people from disadvantaged backgrounds
  • Promote University-business sector cooperation

Many of the proposed areas are designed to bridge Educational inequalities linked to socio-economic background, that are amongst the highest in the EU.
Belgium thus is to progress its education and vocational training reforms and provide training support particularly for people from migrant communities. Austria faces similar recommendations with high drop out rates of foreign- born pupils and Inter-generational mobility in education being amongst the lowest of all OECD countries. Denmark faces a challenge in the employability of young people from non-EU backgrounds. Germany is encouraged to continue investment in education, research and innovation to preserve competitiveness, investments having fallen short of the national target of 10 % of the GDP. Poland is recommended to increase transversal skills, improve the standing of higher education and science that affects quality provision, as well as increasing internationalisation efforts in terms of incoming students and scientific collaboration. Romania’s tertiary attainment rate is increasing, but quality and labour market relevance are lacking behind, obstacles to accessing education faced by Roma and disadvantaged young people, particularity in rural areas, should be reduced.   

The Commission’s proposals will be deliberated in June by the respective national governments, with the Council expected to adopt the final country-specific recommendations in July.

European Commission Semester Page – including all country-specific recommendations