On 14 December 2004, at a conference in Maastricht, ministers from 32 European countries, together with the European Social Partners and the Commission, agreed on the Maastricht Communiqu. It sets out new priorities and strategies in vocational education and training until the end of 2006. This communiqu updates the Copenhagen Declaration on enhanced co-operation in VET which was adopted in 2002. In addition to noting the Resolution on guidance throughout life adopted by the Council in May 2004, the Maastricht Communiqu includes guidance as a priority at national level and stresses that:
- the common instruments, references and principles developed by the European Commission Expert Group on Lifelong Guidance should be used and efforts made to raise stakeholders awareness of these instruments;
- the development and implementation of open learning approaches, enabling people to define individual pathways should be supported by appropriate guidance and counselling.