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This Friday, the education ministers of the European Union approved, in writing, the resolution of the Council of the EU on the strategic framework for European cooperation in the field of education and training until 2030.
In a press conference, held after the informal meeting of education ministers, by videoconference, the minister of Education of Portugal (in the presidency of the EU Council until 30 June) underlined this approval as " another important step towards the European space of education ".
Tiago Brandão Rodrigues - who chaired the informal videoconference from Lisbon - described the resolution as " an extremely important document ", which will now " guide and support cooperation at EU level in the field of education and training ".
This statement was reinforced by Mariya Gabriel, Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth, who underlined the "important step" that resulted from a "collective work" of Member States.
Stressing the importance of education for economic and social resilience, the Commissioner announced the creation of a group of experts to help Member States "make the best use of European funds".
Applications for the group are open until the end of March and the idea is that the experts can help national authorities to "increase the effectiveness of spending and stimulate results".
Mariya Gabriel appealed to Member States to "invest more in education", stressing the need to "learn lessons" from the pandemic crisis, among which is the realization that education is one of the areas in need of more investment, namely as far as the "additional training" of teachers is concerned.
" We need quality digital content, accessible to everyone ", he said, adding that the European Commission wants to analyze " the feasibility of an 'online' European platform " certified for this purpose.
The Council resolution that was approved by the ministers today is based on five strategic areas: improving the quality, equity, inclusion and success of all in education and training; enhancing lifelong learning and mobility for all; enhance the competence and motivation of teaching professionals; strengthen European higher education; support the ecological and digital transition in education.
The European commissioner acknowledged that " the pandemic has aggravated inequalities " in education, after, during the debate that opened the video conference of ministers, she stressed that "students who already had some type of disadvantage were made more vulnerable by the pandemic" .
Now " the loss of learning can have lasting effects ", he warned, insisting on the " value of European cooperation in education and training ".
The impact of Covid-19 and the response measures adopted by member states were the subject of today's videoconference, said the Portuguese minister, adding that Portugal had developed an 'online' platform with " information on the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on the sectors of education, youth and sport ", allowing " extracting statistical information to support the work shared by the Member States ".