New European Commission initiative puts education at the heart of a more social Europe

The European Commission has published a new Communication on “Strengthening European Identity through Education and Culture” which outlines its vision of a European Education Area for 2025.


The goal is to create a “Europe in which learning, studying and doing research would not be hampered by borders”. While the EU cannot legislate on educational matters, the ambitions are high. Among other things, there is a proposal to remove obstacles to recognition also for primary and secondary level education, expand mobility beyond higher education, and create world-class networks of European universities.

The initiative was launched on the occasion of the social summit that took place in Gothenburg in Sweden on 17 November and which brought together top leaders from EU member states, social partners and other key players to work together on a more social Europe and to promote fair jobs and growth.

EUA welcomes the Commission’s attempt to put education front and center on Europe’s social agenda, but also points to the need for careful alignment of any new initiative with existing frameworks such as the Bologna Process, the Renewed EU Agenda for Higher Education, the European Research Area or the Lisbon recognition convention. EUA will closely follow the developments and engage in a discussion with its members and the relevant actors at the European level to provide evidence-based input to specific proposals announced in the communication and be critical where needed.