Tuesday, 19 February 2013

News from the Brussels bubble (source: EUCIS-LLL)

EUCIS-LLL reports on several developments on the EU level in brief:

European Council agreement on the EU Budget 2014-2020: Erasmus for All cut, but still increased compared to previous budget
Last 8th of February the heads of state and government of all EU Member States reached an agreement on the next EU budget for 2014-2020, that for the first time ever will decrease. This has impacted the proposed new programme for education, training, youth and sports – Erasmus for All. Following the conclusions on the Multiannual Financial Framework, the sub-heading where this programme is included (competitiveness) has been cut almost 25% in relation to the Commission proposal. This will mean that, assuming a linear cut, Erasmus for All will get around €14.6bn compared to the initial €19bn. These are of course only initial estimations. The new budget proposal will now be discussed in the European Parliament before it is put to a final vote in a few months' time, which means that the deal achieved by the heads of government is just the beginning of the process. The Parliament is concerned that the budget is not ambitious enough. In the meantime, the Commission will take into account this new budget allocation proposal and come up with suggestions on how the available funds could be concretely divided among the funding programmes. EUCIS-LLL has been advocating for a substantial increase of the EU budget for education and training, showing the benefits of investing in education and training for growth and jobs.

Education Council: Erasmus for All and education for growth and jobs
On 15 February 2013, the EU's education ministers adopted Conclusions on investing in education and training, in response to the recent Commission communication "Rethinking Education". It also held a policy debate on "Education and Skills for Jobs, Stability and Growth", in the context of the European Semester and in particular the education aspects of the 2013 Annual Growth Survey. The Council also took note of the state of play concerning the proposal for a regulation establishing "Erasmus for All". The negotiations between the Council, the European Parliament and the Commission will start on 19 February 2013. Since there is significant common ground between the European Parliament's and the Council's positions, there are reasonable hopes that an agreement is reached before the summer, which would enable important preparatory work by the Commission to be completed in time for the programme to begin, as proposed, on 1 January 2014. Concerning the European Council agreement on the MFF of 8th of February, the Council highlighted that even though the EU budget has been decreased, the next EU budget for education will experience a substantial increase compared to the MFF 2007-2013.

Commission calls Entrepreneurship education to be boosted…
Entrepreneurial education and training to support growth and business creation is one of three key areas identified for immediate intervention by the European Commission's Entrepreneurship2020 Action Plan. With this plan, adopted on January 9, the Commission invited Member States to ensure that the key competence "entrepreneurship" is embedded into curricula across primary, secondary, vocational, higher and adult education before the end of 2015.

A Grand Coalition for ICT Jobs and Training
The European Commission in March is due to launch a so-called Grand Coalition for ICT Jobs and Training at a conference in Brussels on 4-5 March. The EU executive is seeking collaboration on industry-led training, assisting labour mobility, certifying skills, improving school and university curriculums, and creating an entrepreneurs friendly environment for start-ups. Such Grand Coalition is itself part of the Commission’s Employment Package and is seeking to capitalise and intensify existing policies, such as the Digital Agenda for Europe, the E-skills Strategy, the Opening Up Education initiative, the Rethinking Education Strategy, the Youth Opportunities Initiative, and the EU Skills Panorama.

source EUCIS LLL newsletter #53, February 2013

DARE is a member of EUCIS-LLL, the European platform of European Organisations active in Lifelong-learning.