The focus on digitalisation is an important priority within the policy of the Presidency of Slovenia. The digital transformation will be an important element in the conversation about new ways of learning and teaching, but also in the further elaboration of the action plan for digital education and focusing on new competences and skills, digitisation will be central.
The Presidency stresses the importance of inclusive and adaptive education systems for all learners and students, as well as the cooperation between higher education and science including the contribution to the new vision of knowledge between the European Education Area and the European Research Area.
The renewal of the European agenda for adult education is also planned, aiming at an integrated, quality, and inclusive adult education for all.
Finally, an inclusive agreement for the management of the strategic framework for European cooperation in education and training is sought. Discussions on education for sustainable development, micro-qualifications, individual learning and access to vocational education and lifelong learning will be further stimulated.
This conference brought together 88 ministers, 2800 registered participants and another 10,000 people who followed the debates via YouTube.
The main outcome of the conference as expressed in the ESD World Declaration of Berlin - is that education for sustainable development must become a key component throughout all levels of education by 2025. The ecological component of sustainable development must also be more firmly anchored in (school) curricula, of course with an intrinsic link to citizenship education in a global perspective (cf. SDG 4.7, which approaches both aspects in synergy).
The European Pillar of Social Rights (2017, Gothenburg) sets out 20 key principles and rights essential for fair and well-functioning labour markets and social protection systems.
The European Pillar of Social Rights Action Plan turns the Principles into concrete actions to benefit citizens. It also proposes headline targets for the EU to reach by 2030.
Education ministers met on 19 February 2021 through video conference to discuss how to best address persisting challenges in equal access, inclusion and educational success for all in education and training. The Presidency informed ministers on efforts towards the establishment of the new framework for European cooperation in education and training until 2030, including the achievement of the European Education Area. The presidency also informed ministers on its initiative to launch an online platform facilitating data sharing between the member states on coping with the COVID-19 pandemic in education and training.
The presidency also informed ministers on a Council Resolution on a strategic framework for European cooperation in education and training towards the European Education Area and beyond (2021-2030).
The priorities of Portugal's presidency are driven by its motto: ‘Time to deliver: a fair, green and digital recovery’.
The presidency programme focuses on five main areas, which are in line with the goals of the EU’s strategic agenda:
• strengthen Europe’s resilience;
• promote confidence in the European social model;
• promote a sustainable recovery;
• speed up a fair and inclusive digital transition;
• reaffirm the EU’s role in the world, ensuring that this is based on openness and multilateralism.
For the ninth consecutive year, the Education and Training Monitor gathers a wide range of evidence to indicate the evolution of national education and training systems across the European Union.
The report measures countries’ progress towards the targets of the Education and Training 2020 (ET 2020) strategic framework for European cooperation in these fields. It also provides insights into measures taken to address education-related issues as part of the European Semester process.
The Monitor offers suggestions for policy reforms that can make national education and training systems more responsive to societal and labour market needs.
Furthermore, the report helps to identify where EU funding for education, training and skills should be targeted through the EU's next long-term budget, the Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF).
The Monitor comprises a cross-country comparison and 27 in-depth country reports.
Commissioner Mariya Gabriel announced the 2020 Education and Training Monitor at the DigiEduHack conference on 12 November 2020.
The 2021 Commission work programme sees a shift from strategy to delivery across all six political priorities. It confirms the Commission's resolve to lead the twin green and digital transition – an unparalleled opportunity to move out of the fragility of the crisis and create a new vitality for the Union.
In several priorities, there is a direct reference to education and training.
The European Education Area seeks to foster cooperation between European Union (EU) Member States to further enrich the quality and inclusiveness of national education and training systems.
The European Education Area ties in with Next Generation EU, the EU's COVID-19 recovery plan to lead the Union out of the crisis and towards a modern and more sustainable Europe fit to face the digital and green transitions.
It aims to develop a holistic approach to EU action in education and training to create a genuine European space of learning, which benefits all learners, teachers and institutions.