Education and Training 2020 (ET 2020)
“Education and Training 2020” (ET 2020) is a new strategic framework for European cooperation in education and training that builds on its predecessor, the “Education and Training 2010” (ET 2010) work programme. It provides common strategic objectives for Member States, including a set of principles for achieving these objectives, as well as common working methods with priority areas for each periodic work cycle.
Council Conclusions of 12 May 2009 on a strategic framework for European cooperation in education and training (ET 2020) [Official Journal C 119 of 28.5.2009].
These conclusions provide for a strategic framework for European cooperation in education and training up until 2020. This framework builds on the achievements of the “Education and Training 2010” (ET 2010) work programme, with a view to responding to the challenges that remain in creating a knowledge-based Europe and making lifelong learning a reality for all.
The main aim of the framework is to support Member States in further developing their educational and training systems. These systems should better provide the means for all citizens to realise their potentials, as well as ensure sustainable economic prosperity and employability. The framework should take into consideration the whole spectrum of education and training systems from a lifelong learning perspective, covering all levels and contexts (including non-formal and informal learning).
The conclusions set out four strategic objectives for the framework:
- making lifelong learning and mobility a reality – progress is needed in the implementation of lifelong learning strategies, the development of national qualifications frameworks linked to the European Qualifications Framework and more flexible learning pathways. Mobility should be expanded and the European Quality Charter for Mobility should be applied;
- improving the quality and efficiency of education and training – all citizens need to be able to acquire key competencies and all levels of education and training need to be made more attractive and efficient;
- promoting equity, social cohesion and active citizenship – education and training should enable all citizens to acquire and develop skills and competencies needed for their employability and foster further learning, active citizenship and intercultural dialogue. Educational disadvantage should be addressed through high quality inclusive and early education;
- enhancing creativity and innovation, including entrepreneurship, at all levels of education and training – the acquisition of transversal competences by all citizens should be promoted and the functioning of the knowledge triangle (education-research-innovation) should be ensured. Partnerships between enterprises and educational institutions as well as broader learning communities with civil society and other stakeholders should be promoted.
In order to measure progress achieved on these objectives, they are accompanied by indicators and European benchmarks (set out in Annex I of the conclusions).
A set of principles are also provided that should be observed when working towards the objectives mentioned above. This includes the implementation of European cooperation in education and training from a lifelong learning perspective, whereby the open method of coordination (OMC) is used more effectively and synergies are developed between the different sectors involved. European cooperation in education and training should be cross-sectoral as well as transparent, thus involving the related policy areas and all relevant stakeholders. The outcomes from the cooperation should be disseminated and reviewed regularly. Greater compatibility with both the Copenhagen and Bologna processes and stronger dialogue and cooperation with third countries and international organisations should also be aimed at.
With a view of having effective and flexible working methods for European cooperation in education and training, the framework provides for a series of work cycles up to 2020, the first covering the period 2009-11. A number of priority areas are adopted for each cycle on the basis of the above-mentioned strategic objectives. Annex II sets out the priority areas for the first cycle. The cooperation should be carried out through mutual learning initiatives, for which clear mandates, schedules and planned outputs are established. The results of the cooperation are to be widely disseminated among policy makers and stakeholders in order to improve visibility and impact. A joint Council-Commission progress report should be drawn up at the end of each cycle, which will also contribute to the establishment of the priority areas for the next cycle. Together with Member States, the Commission will monitor cooperation in education and training.
Member States should work together using the OMC, with a view to developing European cooperation in education and training based on the above-mentioned strategic objectives, principles and working methods. At the same time, Member States should adopt national measures to attain the strategic objectives as well as to contribute to the achievement of the European benchmarks.
The Commission is invited to support cooperation between Member States, evaluate the progress made on the objectives and the benchmarks, as well as to continue work on benchmarks for mobility, employability and language learning. Furthermore, the Commission, together with the Member States, should examine how the coherent framework of indicators and benchmarks based on the ET 2010 work programme could be harmonised with the ET 2020.