Germany prepares to relaunch the EU’s Lisbon Agenda without highlighting the key role that education must play to reach the Lisbon objectives.
Even though Germany has set the relaunch of the Lisbon Strategy as one of its top priorities, no new initiative is set to be put forward on education by the end of July 2006.
The ‘Lisbon relaunch’ will instead focus on better regulation, with Germany bringing the current EU initiatives forward, linked to the Bologna process follow-up ministerial conference in May 2007 and the consultation on the European Credit System for Vocational Education and Training (ECVET).
“With the Bologna process for higher education and the Copenhagen process for vocational training, European co-operation on education and training is on the right track. The remaining barriers need, however, to be removed without shaking the national systems,” said the German Education and Research Minister Annette Schavan, who presented the German EU Presidency’s education priorities.
She said that Germany would place the emphasis on increasing the mobility of young people. With this regard, it will strive towards the adoption of the recommendation on the establishment of the European Qualifications Framework for lifelong learning (EQF) and work on ECVET . Once adopted and implemented, these are intended to improve the mobility of German students and adult learners, as it is at present practically impossible to move between Länders to study or work, as the 16 different Länders, which form the Federal Republic of Germany and have extensive powers on education policy, do not recognise diplomas and qualifications from other Länders.
In addition, the presidency will need to work on the interim report on the implementation of the Commission’s ‘Education and Training 2010‘ work programme, which invites member states to ensure access to education for all and aims to open up European education systems to the wider world. The interim report will define the process’s direction beyond 2010.