The Committee of the Regions
- notes that exclusion from the educational system is the first step towards marginalisation followed by exclusion from the employment system and from cultural, social and civic life. It reiterates the importance of combating school drop outs which have negative effects on competitiveness and cohesion;
- recognises that in the long run pre-primary education and targeted early intervention programmes bring the highest rates of return over the whole lifelong learning process, especially for the most disadvantaged and recalls in this respect the necessity of the cross-sectoral approach in which key responsibilities are held by local and regional authorities;
- agrees that modernisation of higher education is a crucial factor in the rapidly evolving knowledge society. Higher education institutions are at the heart of the knowledge triangle given their interlinked roles of education, research and innovation. Local and regional authorities play a key role in channelling funding towards the modernisation of higher education systems;
- expresses support for the double objective of improving transparency of qualifications while promoting increased mobility in the EU, but insists that qualifications frameworks should continue to be developed at national and regional level. Responsibility for reform must therefore remain in the hands of the competent authorities within the Member States.
Opinion of the Committee of the Regions on Efficiency and equity in European education and training systems and the European Qualifications Framework for lifelong learning
OJEU C 146 of 30.6.2007 p. 77