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Key documents

Policy documents and studies

Council Recommendation of 24 November 2020 on vocational education and training (VET) for sustainable competitiveness, social fairness and resilience
December 2020

The Recommendation defines key principles for ensuring that vocational education and training is agile in that it adapts swiftly to labour market needs and provides quality learning opportunities for young people and adults alike.
It places a strong focus on the increased flexibility of vocational education and training, reinforced opportunities for work-based learning and apprenticeships and improved quality assurance.

(Reference: EU policy in the field of vocational education and training)

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Osnabruck declaration 2020: on vocational education and training as an enabler of recovery and just transitions to digital and green economies
November 2020

The COVID-19 pandemic as well as digitalisation and climate change have a major impact on our economies, employment, and societies. Vocational education and training (VET) are rightly asked to contribute to response strategies for unprecedented incidents, such as the post-COVID recovery but also to cope with challenges such as demographic change, digital innovation, sustainable or climateneutral approaches, growing demand for STEM skills, and the increasing need to constantly upskill and reskill throughout a person’s working life. 

The Riga Declaration on e-Skills: A call to action on digital skills and job creation in Europe
March 2015

 Riga, 13 March 2015: Representatives from governments, industry, academia, NGOs, and other key stakeholders across Europe have joined forces with the European Commission to push for further action to stimulate investment, the acquisition of digital skills and the creation of jobs to kick start Europe’s anaemic rate of economic growth.

Rethinking Education: Investing in skills for better socio-economic outcomes
November 2011

Rethinking Education is a Communication from the Commission presenting the challenges and the priorities for national and EU policies in the field of education, where great importance is attributed to Vocational Education and Training. 

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Progress Report
February 2010

The European Commission’s progress report produced by DG Education and Culture and its partners takes annual stock of progress made in attaining the Lisbon objectives in education and training.

The Bruges Communiqué
December 2010

The Bruges Communiqué is a package of objectives and actions to increase the quality of vocational training in Europe by making it more accessible and relevant to the needs of the labour market.

Education benchmarks 2020
May 2009

This document provides for a strategic framework for European cooperation in education and training up until 2020. It also sets out indicators and reference levels for monitoring the progress in the field of education and training in the period 2010-2020.

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Vocational education and training – key to the future: Cedefop synthesis of the Maastricht study (Cedefop publication)
November 2009

Drawing on the Maastricht Study to assess progress in VET, this synthesis report aims to help policy-makers situate the Maastricht Communique in context.

The Bordeaux Communiqué
November 2008

The Bordeaux Communique (November 2008) takes stock of the progress achieved,  defines priorities for 2008-2010 and introduces the new objective of strengthening the links between VET and the labour market. This ties in with the "New skills for new jobs" initiative on anticipating and matching labour market and skills needs.

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A coherent framework of indicators and benchmarks
February 2007

The coherent framework of indicators and benchmarks for monitoring progress towards the Lisbon objectives in education and training proposes 20 core indicators which are coherent with identified political priorities within the Education and Training 2010 strategy.

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Council conclusions on a coherent framework of indicators and benchmarks
May 2007

The Council conclusions on a coherent framework of indicators and benchmarks identify 16 of the 20 suggested indicators for full exploitation or development work.

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Zooming in on 2010 (Cedefop publication)
June 2007

This report is one part of Cedefop’s support to the Copenhagen process, underpinning support to policy-makers on challenges and the way ahead with statistical data and research findings.

The Helsinki Communiqué
December 2006

The Helsinki Communique (December 2006) reviews the priorities and strategies of the Copenhagen Process on Enhanced European Cooperation in Vocational Education and Training and sets further specific priorities.

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The Maastricht Communiqué
December 2004

The Maastricht Communique (December 2004) expands upon the Copenhagen declaration and includes national level priorities.

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Education benchmarks 2010
May 2003

This document proposed a set of indicators and reference levels for monitoring the progress in the field of education and training up until 2010.

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The Copenhagen Declaration
November 2002

The priorities and principles for the Process on Enhanced European Cooperation in Vocational Education and Training were first set out in the Copenhagen Declaration (November 2002). This European strategy aims to improve the overall performance, quality and attractiveness of VET in Europe.

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