Nowadays, education and training are seen as key actors in the development of a knowledge society. Therefore both the EU and the member states put forward daring targets to energise the sectors of education and training making them more performing. In order to give these innovation policies a broad societal support, governments mobilise the educational and social-economic stakeholders such as representatives of school boards, teacher trade unions, parent and student organisations as well as social partners to participate actively in the conception and the implementation of policies and activities in education and training. Therefore most of the member states have set up national or regional formal institutions of consideration and consultation. They have diverse statutes, but they all have to function as an advisory body towards governments on future education policies.

To encourage a closer and more intense cooperation, the education councils created in 2000 a European network of national and regional education councils. EUNEC is convinced that all those involved in education (the European Commission, the governments of the Member States, the education councils, the stakeholders and all European citizens) can benefit from a European platform where major reforms in educational systems can be discussed thoroughly and prepared for a successful implementation.

EUNEC aims to discuss the findings and recommendations of all European projects in education and training, to determine standpoints and to formulate statements on these issues. EUNEC wants to disseminate these statements pro-actively towards the European Commission, relevant DGs and other actors at European level, and to promote action by EUNEC’s members and participants at national level. EUNEC also has the objective that the councils should put internationalisation, mobility and Europeanization high on the national agenda, that they should recommend and support a European policy in education and training towards all relevant stakeholders: ministry of education (and employment), sectoral and branch organisations, providers and other actors.

Therefore, EUNEC wants to work in two directions: EUNEC wants to disseminate all documents, texts, studies…that are launched by the European Commission within the framework of the Lisbon process, the Bologna process, the Copenhagen process and Education and Training 2010. But EUNEC also wants to act as a critical sounding board for the European and national decision makers in education and training. With sound and coherent statements, the members of EUNEC want to influence the discussions and the decisions on the major European issues in education and training.

The members of EUNEC have decided to concentrate on a number of general themes in the following years. These themes are described in an annual action plan.

EUNEC organises seminars and conferences and sets up task forces on specific issues related to these themes. It performs research and formulates common statements to the European political institutions responsible for education and training policy.

Since 18 October 2005, EUNEC acts as an international non-profit organisation under the Belgian law. The statutes were published in the Belgian law gazette.