The Czech Presidency summarises the discussion of education ministers from 27 EU Member States, the countries of the European Economic Area and the candidate countries who gathered together at an informal meeting in Prague on 22-23 March 2009, as follows:
The current economic crisis together with other social challenges that Europe has been facing for some time now, require immediate and efficient measures that will aid long-term economic and social development, reinforce competitiveness on a global scale, support employability, and strengthen social cohesion. Investments in human resources through education and training have an important role to play in this regard.
Concrete and specific steps that could contribute to fulfilling the above mentioned goals are as follows:
- Effectively using the existing resources and maintaining or increasing investments into education and training;
- Focusing on skills and key competences supporting peoples employability, flexibility and adaptability;
- Fostering entrepreneurship and promoting creativity and innovation;
- Developing dialogue and cooperation with social partners, particularly with employers and enterprises;
- Strengthening the role of education from the perspective of the knowledge triangle and its connection to research, development and innovation;
- Promoting lifelong learning and supporting further education and retraining;
- Supporting social cohesion, active citizenship and the sense of social responsibility;
- Promoting European cooperation in education and training.