Education ministers progress on ‘Europass’, guidance and informal learning

Education ministers have adopted a raft of conclusions related to ‘Europass’, guidance on lifelong learning, quality insurance in vocational training and skills acquired through informal learning.

EU education ministers reached a political agreement on the
'Europass' proposal during their Council meeting on 28 May. The
Europass consolidates a number of documents, such as the European
CV, into a single portfolio that will improve transparency and
mutual recognition of qualifications, leading to enhanced
professional mobility within Europe and beyond (see

). The proposal will now return to the
European Parliament for a second reading. Viviane Reding, EU
Commissioner for Education, believes that it will be approved
without difficulty and expects Europass to be up and running as
from 2005.

Ministers adopted a Resolution on the importance of guidance
activities in the context of lifelong learning. The resolution will
assist in the development of guidance policies and practices at
national levels. "Guidance has a key role to play in promoting
access to information, lifelong learning and employment, as well as
enhancing social inclusion and promoting personal decision-making
and career management skills", said the Irish Minister of

Finally, Council conclusions on quality assurance in vocational
education and training and common European principles for the
identification and validation of informal and non-formal learning
were adopted. The ministers asked stakeholders to establish systems
for measuring skills and training acquired outside formal
educational establishments and to provide guidance and information
about these systems.

The Council also held a debate on the new generation of EU
Education and Training Programmes, which are due to begin in 2007.
Ministers adopted conclusions endorsing an integrated approach to
the future programmes. However, they expressed concern that the
scope of the new programmes could be limited if Member States
decide to restrict EU funding (see our Linksdossier on



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