In their 2004 Joint Interim Report the Council (Education) and the European Commission called for urgent reforms of Europe's education and training systems if the Union is to achieve its social and economic objectives. They undertook to review progress every two years on implementing the Education and Training 2010 work programme, which includes the Copenhagen process on vocational education and training (VET), and actions for higher education.
The present report is the first in this new cycle. Education and Training 2010 is also a key contribution to the implementation of the new integrated guidelines for jobs and growth, including the European Youth Pact.
The following sections present, for the first time, an overview of the progress made towards the modernisation of education and training systems in Europe, which was called for at Lisbon. The analysis is based primarily on the 2005 national reports of the Member States, EFTA-EEA countries, and the acceding and candidate countries. It shows how reforms are contributing to the priority areas for action identified in the 2004 Joint Interim Report.