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The Czech Republic took over the presidency of the Council of the EU from France on 1 July 2022 (see ACA Newsletter – Education Europe, July 2022). The priorities of Czech presidency are set in response to current geopolitical challenges: the Ukrainian refugee crisis, strengthening defence capabilities and cyberspace security.
In the field of higher education, the focus is on further developing the European Universities Initiative (EUI), supporting more sustainable study exchanges and digital transformation, as well as automatic recognition of foreign qualifications. In the non-formal education field, it will concentrate on the intergenerational dialogue, solidarity and support for the ongoing European Year of Youth.
In the research and innovation area, Czechia will mainly focus on the synergies between the EU Framework Programme for Research and Innovation and other EU and national programmes for maximising the social impact of investment. Another priority area is related to the development of research infrastructures.
Within these six months, the Czech National Agency for International Education and Research (DZS), an ACA member, will organise – jointly with the Czech Ministry of Education Youth and Sports – several formal and informal events for top policymakers and experts. One of the first official events took place in July during the EU Youth Conference. Currently, DZS is preparing to host the higher education conference CZEDUCON on 21-22 November in Prague, where the ACA secretariat will hold several sessions.
Furthermore, DZS is preparing a meeting of directors of the national agencies for Erasmus+ and European Solidarity Corps programmes and a meeting of the employees of national agencies and researchers in the field of youth education.
Another upcoming highlight event is the "Digitalisation in International Higher Education: Forward Looking Perspectives" international conference, co-organised by DZS and ACA in spring 2023, based on various expert discussions and exchanges during the presidency. Stay tuned for more information about the programme and registration!