The Commission has just approved an action plan that will help Member States to achieve the Europe 2020 headline target of reducing the EU average rate of early school leavers to under 10%, from the current level of 14.4%, by the end of the decade.

The Commission's new initiative outlines the situation across Europe regarding early school leaving, its main causes, its risks for future economic and societal development, and proposes ways to tackle the problem more effectively.

The Commission's proposals will be discussed by Education Ministers during their Council meeting on 2-4 May in Brussels. Member States will be invited to adopt comprehensive strategies based on this framework by the end of 2012 and to implement them through their national reform programmes.