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European Commission - Press release

Commission to host first ever Education Summit: laying the foundations for a European Education Area

Brussels, 24 January 2018

The first European Education Summit will take place tomorrow in Brussels, hosted by Commissioner for Education, Culture, Youth and Sport, Tibor Navracsics.

This Summit follows the Gothenburg Summit in November 2017 where the Commission set out its vision to create a European Education Area by 2025, and the December European Council where Member States expressed a willingness to do more in the area of education. It is an important opportunity for 18 EU Education Ministers, education professionals and representatives from all over Europe to come together and discuss the future of education in Europe. This European Education Summit is the start of a series, with the second one to follow in autumn 2019.

Ahead of the event, Tibor Navracsics said, "Education should equipcitizens, young and old, with the competences to lead fulfilling lives and build communities. While education is the responsibility of Member States, we need to step up our cooperation at EU level. We have to use the full potential of education to build resilient societies, create a sense of belonging and enable people to experience European identity in all its diversity. To help achieve this, we want to boost language learning, ensure thatyour diploma is recognised wherever you are in the Union, that European universities can maximise their cooperation, and that studying in another EU country becomes easier than ever before. This is what a true European Education Area is about, and tomorrow's Summit is a concrete step towards making it a reality.

Under the broad theme 'Laying the foundations of a European Education Area: for an innovative, inclusive and values-based education', the Summit will focus on answering questions such as how quality, inclusive and values-based education can contribute to a successful Europe; what competences are needed for the decades to come; and how we can boost basic, digital and entrepreneurial skills.

The programme includes over twenty sessions, master classes and high-level panel discussions, with more than 40 speakers. They cover a vast range of issues, including how to engage disadvantaged pupils to ensure no one is left behind, how to best equip teachers, how to boost learning through sport, as well as the importance of Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) in education and the role children play in helping to transform societies.

Next steps

Building on the conclusions of the Summit, the Commission will present further initiatives in spring 2018. These will include proposals on the mutual recognition of diplomas, language learning, a quality framework for early childhood education and care, a European Agenda for Culture, and a new EU Youth Strategy. In Gothenburg, President Juncker also invited the EU leaders to work towards doubling the number of young people in the EU participating in Erasmus+ by 2025, which will require a budget of €29.4 billion for the period 2021-2027. Furthermore, the Commission will take forward work on a network of European universities and a new EU student card.The latter will make studying in another EU country easier than ever before.


When EU leaders' met in Gothenburg in November 2017, the Commission presented a Communication on Strengthening European Identity through Education and Culture. In this Communication, the Commission set out its vision for the creation of a European Education Area by 2025 to harness the full potential of education as a driver for job creation, economic growth, social fairness as well as a means to experience European identity in all its diversity.

Only two months after the Gothenburg Summit, on 17 January, the Commission followed up with proposals for new initiatives intended to reduce socio-economic inequalities, whilst sustaining competitiveness in order to build a more united, stronger and more democratic Europe. They are:

  • A Council Recommendation on Key Competences for Lifelong Learning and Annex to improve the development of key competences of people of all ages throughout their lives and to provide guidance to Member States on how to achieve this objective. A particular focus is placed on promoting entrepreneurial drive and innovation-oriented mind-sets in order to unlock personal potential, creativity and self-initiative.

  • A Digital Education Action Plan outlining how the EU can help people, educational institutions and education systems better adapt to life and work in an age of rapid digital change.

  • A Council Recommendation on common values, inclusive education and the European dimension of teaching in order to help young people understand the importance of and adhere to common values set out in Article 2 of the Treaty of the European Union. It aims at strengthening social cohesion and contributing to fighting the rise of populism, xenophobia, divisive nationalism and the spreading of fake news.

For More Information

European Education Summit website

The Summit plenary sessions will be web streamed

New measures to boost key competences and digital skills, as well as the European dimension of education

Factsheet on the European Education Area

Factsheet on Key Competences for Lifelong Learning

Factsheet on the Digital Education Action Plan

Factsheet on promoting common values, inclusive education, and the European dimension of teaching

Communication on Strengthening European Identity through Education and Culture

Education & Training Monitor 2017


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