Paris, March 2015
This informal initiative was proposed by France and supported by the Latvian Presidency and the European Commission. It brought together Education Ministers, State Secretaries and representatives from all 28 member states in response to the terror attack in Paris and in Copenhagen.
The declaration calls for combined efforts to prevent and tackle marginalisation, intolerance, racism and radicalisation and to preserve a framework of equal opportunities for all. Education and training 2020 and Erasmus+ are advanced as the main tools to enhance social, civic and cultural competences, critical thinking and media literacy and to foster education of disadvantaged children and young people.
At their meeting on 12 December 2014, ministers adopted conclusions on entrepreneurship in education and training.
These conclusions highlight that entrepreneurship requires the development of a series of competences, which should be addressed at all levels of education and training. They also note the importance of reinforcing the links between the education system and the business world.
The conclusions invite member states and the Commission to fully exploit the potential that Erasmus + offers in supporting entrepreneurship education and to make the best use of other European resources, such as the European Social Fund.
This Annual Growth Survey sets out what more can be done at EU level to help Member States return to higher growth levels. To strengthen and sustain the recovery the Commission proposes to pursue an integrated approach to economic policy built around three main pillars, all of which must act together – boosting investment, accelerating structural reforms and pursuing responsible growth friendly fiscal consolidation.
The adoption of the Annual Growth Survey kicks off the European Semester of economic and budgetary policy coordination. It proposes to streamline the process, with a view to increasing political ownership, accountability and acceptance of the process, to strengthening its credibility and comparability across Member States and to improving the implementation of the country-specific recommendations.
The Commission published the third annual edition of the Education and Training Monitor in November 2014. The Education and Training Monitor is an annual series that reports on the evolution of education and training systems across Europe, bringing together the latest quantitative and qualitative data, recent technical reports and studies, plus policy documents and developments.
While focused on empirical evidence, each section in the Monitor has clear policy messages for the Member States.
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.