On Monday, 25 June, and Tuesday, 26 June, Education and Research Ministers from the Western Balkans will be in Brussels for the annual ministerial meeting of the Western Balkans Platforms on Education & Training and Research & Innovation. On Monday, issues for discussion include the research and innovation capacities in the region and participation in the EU's framework programmes for research and innovation. On Tuesday, all Ministers of Education from the region are invited to review the state of educational reforms in their countries, learn and discuss deeper cooperation. This year, the meeting will also focus on the recognition of academic qualifications.
Ahead of the event, Commissioner Navracsics said: "Coming shortly after the adoption of the new Strategy for the Western Balkans and the recent EU-Western Balkans Summit in Sofia, this meeting is part of our efforts to strengthen our cooperation. Young people are the backbone of any society, so education and youth empowerment will be at the heart of ambitious reforms on the road to accession. Since 2014, over 13,000 students and staff from the Western Balkans have studied or taught abroad under the Erasmus+ programme. And about 23,000 young people from the Western Balkans and the EU have worked together on Erasmus+ youth and non-formal learning projects. I hope that thousands more will benefit in the future." Commissioner Moedas added: ”Science, research and innovation have an important role to play in integrating the Western Balkan region and in reinforcing our renewed Strategy. Spreading excellence and closing the excellence gap in Europe remain a critical issue that will stay at the top of the agenda. The work of the Steering Platform on Research and Innovation is in this perspective crucial in helping to develop regional strategies and exchange best practices to increase national and regional research and innovation capacities.” The longer term perspective of the Platforms is to assist the Western Balkans with their reform efforts and prepare them for EU Membership responsibilities, including full participation in the EU's education and research programmes.
- Publication date
- 25 June 2018
- Directorate-General for Neighbourhood and Enlargement Negotiations