European Commission outlines vision for a European Education Area by 2025

  • culture

On 14 November, the European Commission released a new proposal for strengthening European identity through education and culture. Its vision is to establish a European Education Area by 2025 in which learning, studying and doing research would not be challenged by borders. The proposal is to boost mobility and make cross-border cooperation easier, invest in people and their education, and strengthen the sense of European identity and awareness of cultural heritage.

The proposal announced plans to initiate a new Sorbonne process for mutual recognition of school leaving diplomas. In addition, high emphasis is placed on language learning, training of teachers, mainstreaming innovation and digital skills in education, and improving early childhood education and care.

EUROCITIES welcomes this proposal of the European Commission and especially the recognition of the key role of local communities to foster inclusive education and strengthen European identity. This proposal is relevant for cities as they are already investing in the development of skills, teacher training and language learning. EUROCITIES has a dedicated working group on inclusion through education where cities exchange good practices and engage in peer reviews their inclusive school policies and practices. EUROCITIES analysed this proposal in the table shown below.


Goals to reach by 2025

Proposed initiatives

Making mobility a reality for all

-       boost Erasmus+ programme by doubling the number of participants and reaching out to learners from disadvantaged backgrounds;

-       create an EU Student Card for all mobile students to store information on a person's academic records

The mutual recognition of qualifications

-       initiate a new 'Sorbonne process', building on the ‘Bologna process’, to support mutual recognition of school leaving diplomas

Modernise the development of curricula

-       make recommendations to ensure education systems reflects all the knowledge, skills and competences that are needed today

-       update the Recommendation on Key Competences in early 2018

Improving language learning

-       set a new benchmark for all young Europeans finishing upper secondary education to have a good knowledge of two languages in addition to their mother tongue(s) by 2025

Promoting education, training and lifelong learning

-       increase the share of people engaging in learning throughout their lives with the aim of reaching 25% by 2025

-       make recommendation on a quality framework for early childhood education and care and benchmarking at least 95% of children between 3 years of age and the mandatory school age

Mainstreaming innovation and digital skills

-       innovative and digital training and preparing a new Digital Education Action Plan

Supporting teachers

-       multiply the number of teachers participating in the Erasmus+ programme and eTwinning network

-       offer policy guidance on the professional development of teachers and school leaders

Investing in education

-       use the European Semester to support structural reforms to improve education policy, using EU funding and EU investment instruments to fund education and set a benchmark for member states to invest 5% of GDP in education;

Preserving cultural heritage

-       Develop a European agenda for culture and preparing a Council recommendation on common values, inclusive education and the European dimension of teaching.


You can read the full proposal of the European Commission here:

EUROCITIES staff contact

Bianca Faragau-TavaresPolicy advisor