News archive - 8th Ministerial Meeting of the Western Balkans Platform on Education and Training (3-4 June 2019, Belgrade)

Tibor Navracsics, European Commissioner for Education, Culture, Youth and Sport, opened the 8th Ministerial Meeting of the Western Balkans Platform on Education and Training in Belgrade, Serbia.

The Ministers of Education from the region were invited to review the state of their educational systems, learn about the latest EU initiatives, identify priorities and agree on follow-up actions to deepen regional cooperation.

The 8th Ministerial Meeting of the Western Balkans Platform on Education and Training gathered the Ministers of Education as well as key representatives from the governments of:

  • Albania
  • Bosnia and Herzegovina
  • Kosovo*
  • Montenegro
  • Serbia
  • North Macedonia

This year’s event was attended by the Ministers of Education, representatives from the European Commission, relevant regional stakeholders such as the Regional Cooperation Council (RCC), the European Reform Initiative for South Eastern Europe (ERI-SEE), the European Training Foundation (ETF), the OECD, the Regional Youth Cooperation Office (RYCO), the Western Balkan Alumni Association (WBAA), representatives from Member States, as well as National Agencies and Erasmus+ Offices.

The chosen topic for discussion was Early Childhood Education and Care, with speakers from the International Step by Step Association and UNICEF. Ministers were invited to share experiences and exchange views on progress made and challenges remaining in that area.

Following the roundtable discussions, a series of presentations were given to update the audience on different regional activities. The European Training Foundation (ETF) presented the results of the Torino Process and encouraged the Ministers to work more closely in the field of Vocational Education and Training (VET). This was followed by an update from the European Commission on the ongoing selection of proposals received for the first pilot project for VET mobility between the EU and enlargement countries.

Representatives of the Western Balkans Alumni Association (WBAA) gave an update on the development of their organisation, which celebrated its first General Assembly in Tirana in March 2019. The International Association for the Evaluation of Education Achievement (IEA) presented the progress made in implementing assessments like TIMSS and PIRLS in the Western Balkans, followed by a presentation by the OECD on a forthcoming comparative PISA study for the region. The session finished with an introduction to SELFIE, a tool designed to help schools embed digital technologies into teaching, learning and student assessment, as well as other opportunities in the field of digital skills (e.g. digital traineeship opportunities funded under the Erasmus+ programme).

As an important benchmark in regional cooperation, the issue of recognition of academic qualifications was discussed. Following the meetings of the Working Group facilitated by the Regional Cooperation Council (RCC) and the Education Reform Initiative of South Eastern Europe (ERISEE) under the Regional Economic Area (REA), the Ministers were invited to give their opinions on the Draft Declaration on Recognition of Academic Qualifications in the Western Balkans. All the ministerial delegations showed support for this initiative and reiterated their commitment to improving the process of recognition of qualifications in the region.

*This designation is without prejudice to positions on status, and is in line with UNSCR 1244 and the ICJ Opinion on the Kosovo Declaration of Independence.

More information and meeting report here

Geographical focus
  • Western Balkans
Scientifc field / Thematic focus
  • General

Entry created by Admin on September 19, 2019
Modified on December 19, 2019