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Transition of EU Council Presidency from Belgium to Hungary 

As Belgium’s Presidency of the Council of the European Union concludes, Hungary is set to assume the role on 1 July 2024. Hungary is the third country in the EU Presidency trio (Spain – Belgium – Hungary) that adopted a joint programme outlining shared priorities (for more details, see ACA Newsletter – Education Europe, December 2023). Hungary's upcoming Presidency, from July to December 2024, will continue to build on the foundations established by the rest of the trio, with a comprehensive agenda for higher education and research.  

In the areas of Education, Youth, Culture and Sport, the Hungarian Presidency aims to address the impact of demographic challenges and strengthen European competitiveness. Educational priorities include: 

  • Strategic Partnerships and Digital & Green Transition: Promoting vocational training, higher education, and adult education to adapt to digital and green transitions. 
  • Youth Empowerment and Social Inclusion: Helping young people in isolated areas thrive locally, addressing rural demographic challenges. 
  • Cultural Promotion: Strengthening the role of national and European culture in society and enhancing access. 
  • Media Literacy and Healthy Lifestyles: Emphasizing media literacy education for children and promoting healthy lifestyles through sport. 

The Hungarian Presidency will be tasked with negotiating the Higher Education Package, which includes 35 recommendations focusing on a European quality assurance and recognition system, as well as on attractive and sustainable careers in higher education, and communication on a common European degree.  

In the field of research, strengthening the global position of European science, research, and innovation will be crucial. Key initiatives include addressing fragmentation in the European Research and Innovation Area and reducing the innovation gap. Evaluations of the ERA policy agenda and the Draghi report on EU competitiveness will inform these efforts, resulting in Council Conclusions. Two other Council Conclusions are planned for partnerships on the circular bioeconomy, with emphasis on Central and Eastern Europe, and on advanced materials. 

The Hungarian higher education institutions managed as public trust foundations cannot get any funding from Erasmus+ and Horizon programmes since 2023 (for more details, see ACA Newsletter – Education Europe, December 2022).  

Read the detailed programme and priorities here