On 10 September, president-elect Juncker unveiled his team and the new shape of the next European Commission. A first vice-president (Frans Timmermans) will be the right-hand of the president. This is the first time that there is a commissioner dedicated to a better regulation agenda, guaranteeing that every Commission proposal is truly required and that the aims cannot best be achieved by Member States. The Commission will concentrate its efforts on those areas where only joint action at European level can deliver the desired results. The first vice-president will also act as a watchdog, upholding the Charter of Fundamental Rights and the Rule of Law in all of the Commission's activities.
Jean-Claude Juncker has presented to the European Parliament on 15 July 2014 political guidelines for the new Commission. In these political guidelines he set out a new agenda for jobs, growth, fairness and democratic change. He considers the guidelines as a kind of political contract he concluded with the Parliament to mark the beginning of a new mandate and to prioritise the work of the new Commission.
More information about the Juncker Commission (the structure, the commissioners and their portfolio, ‘mission letters’ from Juncker to each commissioner)athttp://ec.europa.eu/about/juncker-commission/index_en.htm.
Consultations - together with impact assessments, evaluations and expertise - are a key tool for transparent and informed policy making. The Commission consults widely, at each stage of the policy cycle, respecting principles of openness and transparency and following minimum standards, which are generally acknowledged as appropriate and respond to international best practice. Over the last five years, stakeholders' views were sought through more than 500 open consultations published on the ‘Your Voice in Europe’ website.
The guidelines focus on consultations carried out in policy preparation. They also apply to consultations in the context of evaluations.
While these guidelines are intended for internal Commission use only, stakeholder inputs are an essential element in ensuring the quality of the final product. The Commission therefore encouraged stakeholders to participate in this consultation.
The deadline for the consultation is 30 September 2014.
From 1 July 2014, the three presidencies of the European Council over the next 18 months (Italy, Latvia and Luxemburg) have one ultimate goal: fully overcoming the economic crisis and returning to a job rich growth, as well as seizing the opportunities of the digital economy.
In the field of education and training, the presidency intends to propose a political discussion on the future role of education and training in the national and EU growth agendas, highlighting the impact of investment in education on economic sustainable growth and the role of education in fostering competitiveness and job creation.
Over the last four years, the annual country-specfic recommendations proposed by the Commission have been used as a compass to exit from the crisis and re-build growth. In this Communication (2 June 2014), the Commission summarises its analysis of progress made over the last year, as spelled out in the recommendations.
These country-specific recommendations outline reform priorities in individual Member States for the coming 12-18 months and, where relevant, take account of the need to tackle imbalances.
The Council adopted conclusions on effective teacher education, on multilingualism and the development of language competences, on quality assurance supporting education and training.
It also held, in public deliberation, a policy debate on the subject: "Education crossing borders: new opportunities and challenges".
The European Commission is undertaking a mid-term stocktaking of the Strategic Framework for European Cooperation in Education and Training (ET 2020) for the period 2009-2014.The second cycle of the framework is completed in 2014 and the third one will begin in 2015.
The objective of the consultation is to collect views on main impacts of ET 2020 to date and remaining challenges, on the usefulness of OMC and on key priorities for 2015-2017.
The results of this survey will be used to inform the design of the ETYP (Education, Training and Youth Forum) in October 2014 and to inform the Commission Staff Working Document on the mid-term review.
The Europe 2020 strategy was launched in March 2010 as the EU’s strategy for promoting smart, sustainable and inclusive growth. The strategy is built around five headline targets in the areas of
- Research and development
- Climate and energy
- Fight against poverty and social exclusion.
The strategy also set out a series of action programmes, called ‘flagship initiatives’ in seven fields.
The strategy is implemented and monitored in the context of the European Semester, the yearly cycle of coordination of economic and budgetary policies at EU level. The Country-Specific Recommendations are key instruments for the implementation of the Europe 2020 Strategy.
The European Council of 20-21 March has agreed, after proposal by the European Commission, to initiate a review of the strategy. On 5 March 2014, the Commission adopted a Communication ‘Taking Stock of the Europe 2020 strategy for smart, sustainable and inclusive growth’.
Communication from the European Commission, 5 March 2014.
The Communication has two parts: Where does Europe stand four years on? Has the Europe 2020 strategy worked? Role of the targets,of the flagship initiatives, of the European Semester.
The annual Education and Training Monitor examines the evolution of Europe’s education and training systems. It takes into account various benchmarks and indicators but also recent studies and policy developments.
The Monitor has been presented at the EUNEC executive committee on 11 December by Mr Stan Van Alphen, European Commission, DG EAC