On 11 November, the Commission adopted a Communication highlighting shortcomings in the reform of European training and education systems in the context of the Lisbon strategy.
On 11 November, the Commission adopted a Communication entitled “Education & training 2010: the success of the Lisbon strategy hinges on urgent reforms”. This Communication is a draft of the joint report on the implementation of the “Education and Training 2010” programme which will be presented to the Spring European Council in March 2004.
The Commission warns that if Member States do not introduce in-depth reforms of their education and training systems, the whole Lisbon strategy could be a failure. To avoid lagging behind the US and Japan, the Commission urges Member States to:
- increase investment in human resources, both from the private and the public sector;
- turn the concept of lifelong learning into a reality;
- take measures against looming teacher shortages and make the teaching profession a more attractive career option.
The Commission asserts that the “Education and Training 2010” work programme agreed in 2001 must be given a higher priority by Member States and recommends that a mechanism for regular progress reporting be put in place by 2004.
In addition, the Commission calls on Member States to truly create a Europe of education and training, in particular by quickly putting in place a European reference framework for higher education and vocational training qualifications. The Commission considers that it is an essential step towards creating a genuine European labour market, facilitating mobility and raising Europe’s profile in the world.