On Wednesday, May 22, Minister of National Education Ecaterina Andronescu chaired the meeting of the Education Council, which was held in Brussels under the aegis of the Romanian Council Presidency.
The meeting was an opportunity to adopt documents of consequence for the creation of a European Education Area by 2025, namely, the Council Recommendation on a comprehensive approach to the teaching and learning of languages and, respectively, the Council Recommendation on high-quality early childhood education and care systems. Besides their relevance on the labour market, linguistic competences are also vital for building the Europe of the future based on common values and the mutual understanding of our diverse traditions.
The Council Recommendation on high-quality early childhood education and care systems is aimed at supporting the Member States in their efforts to improve both the access to early childhood education and care systems and the quality thereof, while also acknowledging that the main responsibility in this area rests with the Member States. Early education and care play an important role in the entire educational and training pathway.
The Council also adopted the Council Conclusions on the implementation of the Council Recommendations on upskilling: new opportunities for adults. The Conclusions note the progress that has been made and call upon the member states to put in place sustainable measures for adult upskilling. At the same time, they recommend to adopt a coherent strategic approach to basic skills provision for low-qualified adults and to raise the employers’ awareness of the importance of adult skills development, upskilling and reskilling.
Another item on the event agenda was the debate on building a future of Europe and on the role of education and training in strengthening social cohesion. Strengthening social cohesion is one of the priorities of the Romanian Council Presidency, also emphasised by Romania’s motto: Cohesion, a common European value. To Romania, social cohesion is a common value that drives the Union’s consistency and its capacity of achieving its goals and that fosters smart, sustainable and inclusive growth.
“We firmly believe that education and training can be strong drivers of social cohesion. We consider that we need a collective commitment to acting based on our shared values, while capitalising on the linguistic and cultural diversity of each Member State”, declared Minister Ecaterina Andronescu.
Prior to the debate, a Romanian pupil, Rareș Voicu, Junior UNICEF Ambassador to the EU, reported on the outcomes of the international conference on “Children’s participation in decision-making and policy-making at European Union level” (held in Bucharest on May 6-7, 2019).