European educational policies (ET2020) will be shaped on new working priorities, with social, civic and intercultural competences at the core.
European cooperation in education and training is geared around a common strategic framework, the “Education and Training 2020” (ET 2020). Following a mid-term evaluation, few days ago the EU Council and the Commission released a Draft Joint Report on the implementation of ET2020, which suggests new directions for education in Europe.
In the wake of recent terrorist attacks and other radicalisation events, European Institutions are now looking at formal and non-formal education as crucial means to prevent and tackle social exclusion and discrimination, while cultivating mutual respect and fundamental values of an open and democratic society. This approach is strongly shared by national authorities: the Paris Declaration of Education Ministers of 17 March 2015 called for actions at all levels to reinforce the role of education in promoting citizenship and the common values of freedom, tolerance and non-discrimination.
As we believe that intercultural learning can trigger positive changes in society, we welcome the new focus of ET2020, in particular the following points:
- Education systems should ensure permeability between various forms and levels of learning, so to enable learners to transfer and build on all types of their learning – formal, non-formal or informal. For YFU the principle of permeability could represent a powerful argument when calling for the recognition of the exchange year.
- Learning mobility should be fostered and facilitated, with actions on transparency, quality assurance, validation and recognition of skills and qualifications.
- New funding from the Erasmus+ programme will be made available for projects that aim to promote the acquisition of social, civic and intercultural competences, enhance ownership of Europe’s fundamental values, foster active citizenship, and promote intercultural dialogue.
We are glad to acknowledge that the Draft Report properly recognises the role of education in addressing the challenges of our multicultural and interconnected societies.
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