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At the beginning of January, Slovenia took over the Council presidency of the European Union from Portugal. Overall, Slovenia will work towards a timely entry into force of the Lisbon Treaty, push ahead with the Lisbon Strategy, address climate-energy issues, advocate the Union membership of Western Balkan countries, and advance the intercultural dialogue.
The country’s priorities in the area of higher education were outlined by Slovenia’s education minister Mojca Kucler Dolinar in a speech at the European Parliament on 21 January. Slovenia intends to push ahead with the legislative process for the second phase of Erasmus Mundus, which it sees as a key instrument for positioning European higher education globally. It intends to further the implementation of the Lisbon Strategy (‘Education & Training 2010’) and the Bologna Process, the post-2010 future of which it wishes to discuss with member states. Slovenia also wants to contribute to the innovation of European higher education, with a particular stress on management practices. Last, but not at all least, the country is set to develop a ‘Euro-Mediterranean higher education and research area’. In this context, it wants to establish a Euro-Mediterranean University - to everybody’s surprise, to be located in… Slovenia.