Minister Mailis Reps was today at the meeting of ministers of education and youth where it was agreed on the vision of the European Education Area and future of the European Union’s youth policy.
“Meetings today confirmed that we all are on the same page with the future of European education and youth policies,” said Mailis Reps, Minister of Education and Research of Estonia. “At the meeting of minister of education we agreed on the vision of the European Education Area that creates among other better mobility possibilities for students. This is excellent way for self-improvement abroad and I hope that mobility during studies will become more integral part of studies,” added Reps.
The ministers of education agreed on the vision of European Education Area that in addition to student mobility creates better opportunities for recognition of diplomas and qualifications, supports language learning and creates better ways for cooperation among higher education institutions. Two recommendations of the Council of the European Union were adopted on key competences for life-long learning and conclusions on promoting common values, inclusive education, and the European dimension of teaching.
The ministers of youth affairs discussed the future priorities of youth policies. It was stressed that there is greater need for better engagement of youth to policy making processes. Estonia proposed smart youth work as one of the solution in order to increase responsiveness to the needs and interests of young people. The discussion was an introduction to wider discussion on the new European Youth Strategy, soon to be proposed by the European Commission. The conclusions on the role of youth in building a secure, cohesive and harmonious society in Europe as well on the role of youth in addressing the demographic challenges within the European Union were adopted.
Reps had also an informal lunch on how to reform the existing mechanisms for engaging young people. It was focused on restructuring the current format – the Structured Dialogue. The representatives of the European Commission, European Parliament, General Secretariat of the Council of the European Union, European Youth Forum and European Students’ Union and the presidencies of Estonia, Bulgaria and Austria joined the lunch.
In addition, the minister Reps will meet her colleague from Austria, Heinz Faβmann, to discuss the up-coming Austrian Presidency. Reps shared Estonian experience on the Presidency and they discussed how to achieve Presidency’s goals. In addition, the Erasmus+ programme and recognition of diplomas and qualifications were discussed. Ministers of education will also met the Commissioner Günther Oettinger to discuss the future of European Schools.
The next meeting of ministers of education and youth will take place in November in Brussels. Estonia and Austria are Presidency trio-partners together with Bulgaria who have agreed on common priorities for the Presidencies.