The Western Balkans Agenda on Innovation, Research, Education, Culture, Youth and Sport has set the Western Balkans on a solid path towards closer cooperation in these policy areas.
The Ministerial meeting represents a key event in the joint effort to maintain the political momentum triggered by the launch of the Agenda at the Brdo Summit, which took place in October 2021.
European Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth, Mariya Gabriel, attended the Ministerial Meetings. The meetings were co-chaired by the European Commission, the French Presidency of the Council of the European Union (EU) and the Albanian Ministries of Culture, Education and Sport.
Enhanced partnership with the Western Balkans
At the Ministerial Meeting on Education and Training on 28 June 2022, Commissioner Gabriel announced the launch of a new Enhanced Partnership with the Western Balkans under the Erasmus+ programme.
This Partnership will give education organisations and institutions in the Western Balkans not associated to the programme the possibility to take part in strategic actions, starting with the European Universities initiative as of 2023, on equal footing with organisations from EU Member States and third countries associated to the programme.
The Commissioner highlighted that extending the access to such flagship actions to all Western Balkan partners will strengthen further cooperation with the region.
Learning for the green transition and sustainable development
The discussions on learning for sustainability were based on the recently adopted Council recommendation on learning for the green transition and sustainable development. They brought to the fore potential challenges to embedding learning for sustainability across the entire spectrum of policy, practice and operations in education and training. At the same time, many good examples, practices and commitment already exist.
Commissioner Gabriel emphasised that she is looking forward to continued cooperation with our Western Balkan partners through policy cooperation, in the Education for Climate Coalition and through the Erasmus+ programme, with the view of advancing the implementation of teaching and learning for sustainability across education and training systems.