The Commission and the Parliament co-organized the EEA mid-term review event.
The creation of the European Education Area (EEA) by 2025 is the main priority of the European Commission in the field of education. A mid-term evaluation of this process is currently underway, during which the actors involved take stock of the achievements made and at the same time highlight the areas where further cooperation is needed. In October, a joint event of the European Commission and the European Parliament took place, where representatives of European institutions and other relevant stakeholders addressed this topic in discussions and thematic workshops.
On behalf of the European Parliament, its President Roberta Metsola opened the event. In her speech, she emphasized the topics currently being addressed, for example active citizenship, or automatic mutual recognition of learning outcomes. She also highlighted the need to continue to improve the quality of education for all, including supporting the skills necessary for digital and green transformation. In conclusion, she expressed the European Parliament's support for all activities and initiatives taking place within the EEA, including the Erasmus+ programme.
Iliana Ivanova, European Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth, pointed out that the EEA mid-term evaluation is not a one-sided process, but rather a space for listening, dialogue and mutual reflection of all involved actors at the European and national levels. The creation of the EEA must take place step-by-step and by mutual cooperation and the use of all available financial means, whether it is programmes such as Erasmus+ and Digital Europe, or cohesion funds and the Recovery and Resilience Facility. In her speech, Ivanova further emphasized the main areas of cooperation. Among them, she mentioned increasing the quality of education, ensuring equal access to education for all, supporting digitization in education, and active European citizenship.
The opening speech was concluded by Sabine Verheyen, Chair of the Committee for Culture and Education in the European Parliament. In addition to the above-mentioned topics, she supported the active role of the European Parliament in the creation of the EEA, especially in the area of academic freedom or supporting the position of teachers in society. She also emphasized that education plays an important role in providing the skills needed in the labor market in order to increase the competitiveness of the EU.
Main topics until 2025
The first part of the event was followed by a panel discussion on current topics that need to be focused on until 2025. Among the first, the automatic recognition of learning outcomes and quality assurance was emphasized - European Commissioner Ivanova mentioned, for example, the ongoing pilot project to test the European Degree Label. Furthermore, the panelists mentioned the need to focus on the support of European values, active citizenship and the involvement of young people in decision-making processes, for example through platforms where they could express their opinion on the future of Europe.
At the regional level, the actors involved should advocate for the synergies of education and innovation ecosystems and use regional authorities as a bridge between education, innovation and the world of work. This is connected with the support of cooperation not only of education providers, but of all other relevant actors, including civil society, and the synergies of formal and informal education. Last but not least, all panelists emphasized the importance of continued support for the digital and green transformation and providing support not only to students, but also to teachers and other educators, without whom the achievement of EEA is impossible. All goals cannot be achieved without financial support, therefore one of the topics of discussion was investment in education, especially its regular monitoring and ensuring its effectiveness.
In the afternoon part of the event, 4 parallel workshops took place, where the participants devoted themselves in more detail to the four main themes of the event, i.e. citizenship education; supporting teachers and educators as key players for achieving EEA; increasing quality and inclusion in education policies and continuing to support the automatic mutual recognition of learning outcomes.
You can find more information on the event's website, in the transcript of Commissioner Ivanova's speech and in the recording of the morning part of the conference.
You can find more information on the event website, in the transcript of Commissioner Ivanova's speech and in the recording of the morning sessions.