The Netherlands holds the Presidency of the Council of the European Union from 1 January to 30 June 2016 and has presented, together with the Slovak and Maltese Presidencies that will follow, the Council's work programme for the period to June 2017.
The EU Presidency Trio states in its programme that ‘inclusive, smart and sustainable growth, jobs and competitiveness remain the top priority over the next 18 months.’
In the field of education and training, the Presidency will focus on the following headlines:
The European Commission announced a new Skills Agenda in its 2016 Work Programme. The new agenda, which will be discussed by this Council, will promote investment in skills development so that workers are better equipped to deal with the changing labour market and society. The Netherlands Presidency will also address the mutual recognition of qualifications, which will support vocational training and higher education and help realise the full potential of digital jobs.
Furthermore, the Netherlands Presidency will seek to encourage debate on the role of education in the reception and integration of migrants and the role of education and youth work in combating youth radicalisation. This will be coordinated with the conclusions of the Luxembourg Presidency, current developments and any Commission initiatives.