Ministers discussed the extent to which European Union education systems are equipped to deal with crises such as the COVID-19 pandemic or the war in Ukraine. They adopted a recommendation to further enhance the effectiveness of European cooperation in the field of higher education. They also adopted conclusions on a European strategy to strengthen the position of higher education institutions for Europe's future, and conclusions on increasing the mobility of teachers and trainers, in particular European mobility, during their initial and in-service training.
On 31 March 2022, the EU Education Ministers held a video conference chaired by Jean-Michel Blanquer, the French Education Minister. Mariya Gabriel, European Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth, also took part. The aim was to discuss concrete EU assistance to pupils, teachers and educational staff from Ukraine.
The monitor analyses the evolution of education and training in the EU and in the Member States. The Education and Training Monitor 2020 is the final edition of the strategic framework for European cooperation in education and training ET 2020 that is nearing its end.
This year's Monitor 2020 focuses on teaching and learning in the digital age. The corona crisis has shown the importance of digital solutions for teaching and learning and highlighted weaknesses.
The Council dealt with the following issues in the field of Education:
• The Council adopted the Recommendation on blended learning for high-quality and inclusive primary and secondary education. It proposes both short-term measures and a direct response to the crisis, as well as long-term actions to promote blended learning (see 2.9).
• The Council adopted resolutions on the renewed European Agenda for Adult Learning 2021-2030 (see 2.10) and on the governance structure of the strategic framework for European cooperation in education and training with a view to the European Education Area and beyond (2021–2030).
• A policy debate on Digital Education and Digital Skills took place that contributes to the structured dialogue on this subject.
The Presidency also reported on the impact of the current COVID pandemic on education and training. The French delegation also reported on the work programme of the incoming Presidency in the field of Education and Youth.
The European Commission has several priorities for the period from 2019 to 2024. The Commission's work programme for 2022 also takes place within these priorities, so the main lines are the same:
1 A European Green Deal
2 A Europe fit for the digital age
3 An economy that works for people
4 A stronger Europe in the world
5 Promoting our European way of life
6 A new push for European democracy
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.
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).