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The European Qualifications Framework: major benefits for citizens and employers throughout Europe

The European Commissioner for Education, Training, Culture and Youth, Mr Jan Figel', today launched the European Qualifications Framework for lifelong learning (EQF) at a major education conference in Lisbon. The EQF will act as a translation device between the Member States' qualifications systems. This will help employers and educational establishments across Europe compare and better understand the qualifications presented by individuals.

The core of the EQF system is its eight reference levels, covering the span of basic to the highest level qualifications. The Recommendation specifies that countries should relate their national qualifications systems to the EQF by 2010. By 2012, every new qualification issued in the EU should have a reference to the appropriate EQF reference level, so the benefits to mobility and lifelong learning that the EQF brings will be visible and available to every EU citizen.