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New ET 2020 priorities: Towards greater social inclusion

In early September, the European Commission unveiled a new set of priorities for the 2016-2020 work cycle of the Strategic framework for European cooperation in education and training (ET 2020). Following a mid-term evaluation, the Draft 2015 Joint Report proposes six new priority areas and, in addition, extends the work cycle from three years to five years. 

With respect to the four strategic objectives set in 2009, in the next work cycle the Commission proposes to steer the European cooperation in education and training towards:  

  • ensuring the achievement of key skills, competences and learning outcomes to foster employability, innovation and active citizenship;
  • promoting inclusion, equal access and non-discrimination in education, as well as the development of civic competences;
  • boosting openness and innovation in education and training by taking advantage of the opportunities offered by the digital era;
  • improving support for the teaching profession
  • easing learning and labour mobility through ensuring transparency and recognition of skills and qualifications; and
  • increasing the sustainability of investment in education and training. 

The new priorities aim to address the current challenges faced by the European society, including persistently high unemployment, the need to tackle the problem of early school leaving and increasing higher education attainment rates. The Commission’s emphasis on education as a tool for combatting social exclusion and radicalisation comes in the wake of the 2015 attacks in Paris and Copenhagen. The report highlights the social and civic aspects of education, stating that education and training have a role in “promoting equity and non-discrimination and in imparting fundamental values, intercultural competences and active citizenship”. The report is expected to be formally adopted by the Education Council in November. 

Press release

ET 2020 Joint Report