On 22 May, the European Commission published the second education package including further proposals for the creation of a “European Education Area” by 2025.
EUA welcomes the package, as it is an important step in giving life to the EU’s goals in the sector and agrees to the overall objective of promoting “an inclusive, lifelong learning-based and innovation-driven approach to education and training.” Notably, the package includes a Communication about the role of youth, education and culture policies in building a stronger Europe. It explains the rationale for upcoming Commission objectives such as the creation of networks of “European Universities” and a European Student Card. It also supports a proposal for a Council recommendation on promoting automatic mutual recognition of diplomas and learning periods abroad and a proposal to promote language learning.
These initiatives are a follow-up to the Commission’s November 2017 Communication, which first mentioned the idea of a European Education Area. This was subsequently discussed by EU member state leaders and education ministers who asked the Commission to develop concrete proposals for specific actions.
EUA agrees very much with the overall aim of strengthening cross-border collaboration to improve educational provision and remove remaining obstacles to the free movement of learners across Europe. The Association has published a first reaction to the proposals relevant to universities and will engage in further discussions with policy makers to ensure that they are taken forward in a way that makes sense for the sector.