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Swedish EU Council Presidency – room for education?

Sweden assumed the Presidency of the Council of the European Union at a difficult time for member states and the Union as a whole as the geopolitical and economic situation in Europe has been strongly affected by Russia’s war against Ukraine. The Swedish Presidency provides a strong response to these challenges by putting forward security, competitiveness, green and energy transitions, democratic values and the rule of law as its main priorities in the first half of 2023.

While the above priorities naturally refer to other fields, due to their urgency and importance, the new Presidency still plans to tackle at least two focus areas in the field of education: skills required by labour market and the European Education Area agenda.

With the European Year of Skills taking place in 2023, the Presidency intends to link up with this and one of its focus areas, matching skillsets to labour market needs. The Presidency will highlight how education can contribute to transition and upskilling and will initiate a discussion on the conditions necessary for both individuals and businesses to be able to obtain the skills they need for the green transition.

In addition, the Swedish Presidency will move forward the work on the European Education Area, for example in the area of mutual recognition of qualifications. The Presidency also plans to begin considering both of the Council recommendations announced by the Commission on digitalisation in the area of education.

As the Czech Presidency of the Council of the European Union came to an end in late December 2022, ACA member, the Czech National Agency for International Education and Research (DZS) received an award from the Ministry of Education and Culture for its excellent contribution to the Presidency’s programme in education and research.

Roman Klepetko, Head of the Coordination Department of the Czech Presidency in the Council of the EU, receives the diploma of the Ministry of Education and Culture from the Minister of Education Vladimír Balaš. Photo source: Ministry of Education and Culture