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Published:  30 May 2024

Commission forges stronger ties in the European Higher Education Area

Today, higher education representatives from 47 European countries and the European Commission reaffirmed their commitment to more interconnected, inclusive and competitive higher education.


The Communiqué adopted in Tirana at the European Higher Education Area Ministerial Conference also proposes next steps to foster cooperation within the European Higher Education Area (“Bologna process”) in 2025-2027.

The “Tirana Communiqué”

  • takes stock of the cooperation to date  
  • underlines that more needs to be done to facilitate cooperation in higher education and promote learner mobility

Download the “Tirana Communiqué”

EU initiatives driving progress

The Communiqué recognises that EU initiatives can be at the heart of the progress envisaged.

In particular, the

  • European Universities alliances deepen institutional cooperation
  • European degree would facilitate the delivery of joint degree programmes
  • European Student Card Initiative guarantees seamless and secure electronic data exchange
  • Council Recommendation 'Europe on the move' sets a new higher education mobility target

The European Commission has ensured synergies, so that these EU flagship initiatives reinforce also the Bologna process.

Safeguarding fundamental values in higher education

Education is an essential part of our democratic societies, and a well-functioning European Higher Education Area depends on the protection and promotion of fundamental values.

At the meeting, the representatives adopted a common framework consisting of a shared understanding and continued monitoring of fundamental values:  

  • academic freedom  
  • academic integrity  
  • institutional autonomy
  • student and staff participation in higher education governance
  • public responsibility for and of higher education


Ahead of the Tirana Ministerial Conference, the European Commission published the latest edition of the ‘Bologna Process Implementation Report’ . This provides an overview of the implementation status of the policy commitments in higher education in each country.  

The report shows that, while there has been tangible progress in implementing the key commitments that can ensure a connected and inclusive European Higher Education Area, the participating countries need to step up in terms of speed and coherence of reforms.


Work on the European Higher Education Area is part of the Bologna Process, which is an intergovernmental process in the field of higher education.

Published:  30 May 2024