EU Education Ministers have set a common goal to reduce the percentage of 15 year olds with low reading skills from the current level of 20% to 15% by 2020. To achieve the above goal, the European Commission established an independent High Level Group which included 11 special experts, chaired by Princess Laurentien of the Netherlands, in order to analyse the available data and evaluate the most effective policies, in order to identify ways to achieve the common goal of improving literacy levels.
The report of the High Level Group on Literacy includes a series of recommendations, such as advice for parents on creating a culture of reading for pleasure to their children, the construction of libraries in atypical settings and specific advice for boys, who read less than girls on the whole. The report makes age-specific recommendations and provides examples of good practices already in place in Member States.
Based on the recommendations of the Group and the conclusions of the conference, the Cyprus Presidency will hold a discussion during the Informal Meeting of Ministers of Education in October 2012 and subsequently will promote the adoption of Council Conclusions in November on this issue, seeking to tackle illiteracy through the provision of qualitative education and training.