MIL OSI Translation. Region: Germany / Deutschland –
Source: Federal Ministry of Education and Research
30.11.2020Press release: 191/2020
In their last meeting under the German EU Council Presidency, EU education ministers set a strong signal for freedom of expression and set the course for a digital and climate-friendly European education area
Today the ministers of education met in an informal video conference led by Federal Minister of Education Anja Karliczek. On the occasion of the murder of the French teacher Samuel Paty, the victims of the most recent terrorist attacks in Europe were remembered for a minute’s silence. The focus of the meeting was the debate on the creation of a European Education Area and an overview of the state of negotiations on individual education dossiers, above all Erasmus +. Before the beginning of the meeting, the ministers adopted the Osnabrück Declaration on the Future of Vocational Education and Training. At the meeting, Federal Education Minister Anja Karliczek explains: “Today, with a minute’s silence among the education ministers, we set an example for tolerance, freedom of expression, pluralism and democracy. They are our core European values and they are conveyed through education. Samuel Paty was murdered on October 16 in Paris for teaching the principles of the Enlightenment in his everyday work. We stand firmly behind our European values as set out in the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union. Today’s meeting sends a clear signal: As Ministers of Education in the European Union, we stand united behind our teachers. Violence and terror have no place in our European societies. We will not step back an inch and continue to give high priority to conveying the fundamental values of our European Union, which includes freedom of expression without any ifs or buts. We stand united against all forms of religious illiteracy and fanaticism. Today we have taken a big step forward to strengthen vocational training and to further develop digital education in Europe. I would particularly like to emphasize the successful adoption of the Osnabrück Declaration by the ministers. Together we have expressed our great respect and appreciation for people who achieve great things every day in vocational training. The declaration underlines the contribution of vocational training to the economic recovery after the COVID-19 crisis and to shaping a digital and environmentally friendly future. Inclusion and excellence are central pillars of modern vocational training, which member states, European social partners and the European Commission have committed to implement. Today’s meeting was an opportunity to take stock of the German EU Council Presidency in the field of education. It was important to me that over the past six months in Europe we focused primarily on higher-level, excellent vocational training. It was important to us to have a good exchange with social partners and stakeholders in vocational training from business, science and practice. The main topic of our Council Presidency was how we can jointly tackle the COVID-19 pandemic in Europe. The crisis has intensified digital learning. We should make full use of this boost to modernize our education systems. Close coordination with our trio partners Portugal and Slovenia was important to me on all of our issues. I am therefore looking forward to the fact that the development towards a European Education Area will continue under the Portuguese Council Presidency. ”At today’s informal meeting of EU education ministers, a Council recommendation on vocational training and Council conclusions on digital education were also adopted. The Council conclusions emphasize the importance of digital education for the individual educational path as well as for the entire educational system. They are based on a holistic concept of education that understands digital tools as valuable means to an end. To this end, teachers are to be trained accordingly, pedagogical concepts developed and infrastructures expanded. The Council conclusions also support the new Digital Education Action Plan. It is the roadmap of the European Commission in digital education for the next seven years. With the Vocational Education Council recommendation, the course is set by which every individual is prepared for the job market in a timely manner, e.g. Flexible training and further education and adaptation to a more digital and ecological economy. The orientation debate on the European Education Area also emphasized the common goal of making Europe’s education systems fit for the future through new goals and cooperation instruments. Education and training play a key role in making our future European society and economy more inclusive, resilient and sustainable. Background: Since July 1, 2020, Germany has held the rotating presidency of the Council of the European Union for six months. In this function, the German delegation leads the negotiations on European legislative proposals and other initiatives and can also set its own priority topics. The program of the German EU Council Presidency fits in with the extensive program of the “Presidential Trio” of Germany, Portugal and Slovenia. Portugal will take over the presidency of the Council on January 1, 2021. The program of the German EU Council Presidency includes the chairmanship of the Council for Education and a large number of specialist events as well as so-called informal meetings of the specialist ministers, including the ministers for education and research. On 16.-17. An informal meeting of the education ministers took place in Osnabrück on September 30th, 2020. which cannot be held physically due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Decisions were therefore made in the Permanent Representatives Committee.
EDITOR’S NOTE: This article is a translation. Apologies should the grammar and / or sentence structure not be perfect.