Nøkkelbudskap til Det europeiske råds vårmøte på området utdanning og yrkesopplæring
Uttalelse vedtatt av Rådet 16.2.2009
BAKGRUNN (fra rådsdokumentet, engelsk utgave)
The global financial and economic crisis, with the serious challenges it poses for growth, employment and social stability, has demonstrated the need for swift and coordinated action at European level. It is precisely in times of economic difficulty that the key strategic importance of sustaining open and efficient, high-quality education and training systems - as a means of enhancing future competitiveness while fostering social cohesion and active citizenship - must continue to be emphasised. More specifically, the current downturn highlights the need to accelerate efforts aimed at upgrading existing skills and acquiring new ones throughout life, especially in the knowledge-based employment sectors and the evolving low-carbon economy. Long-term investment in knowledge, skills and competences, the development of partnerships and effective cooperation with the world of work and support for the free movement of knowledge are accordingly required as a means of preparing for recovery and ensuring future socio-economic prosperity. With this in view, greater attention should be paid to seeking new and diversified funding sources - including, where appropriate, private ones – for education and training, and to developing corporate social responsibility.
Against this background, the Council - meeting in its Education, Youth and Culture configuration - submits the following key messages in the field of education and training to the Spring European Council:
1. In responding to the challenges posed by the global financial crisis and consequent economic downturn, full consideration should be given to the essential contribution which education and training can make towards recovery. Higher and more efficient investment in human capital is needed. Efforts should also be stepped up to ensure that education can fulfil its role in the knowledge triangle (education-research-innovation) as a key driver of a knowledgebased society, and that it can contribute to the development of the proposed European Innovation Plan. To support Member States in meeting these challenges, a significant role will be played by the updated strategic framework for European cooperation in the field of education and training, currently being prepared in anticipation of future developments in the Lisbon process and with a view to adoption in the first half of 2009.
2. Now, more than ever, education and training systems across Europe need to be responsive to current and future labour market requirements and to the challenge of promoting equity, social cohesion and active citizenship. Various forms of cooperation and partnership between education and training institutions on the one hand, and employers and other relevant stakeholders on the other, should be encouraged as a means of enhancing the long-term employability of all citizens through the acquisition of key competences and skills in a lifelong learning perspective. Since learning mobility also contributes to this, periods of learning abroad should gradually become the rule rather than the exception. The anticipation of skills needs, the upgrading and development of skills - in particular entrepreneurship, language and intercultural skills - and the fostering of citizens' creative and innovative potential are key to securing the EU's future prosperity and maintaining social cohesion in the transition to a knowledge-based, low-carbon economy.