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European Education Area

Quality education and training for all

European Semester / Country analysis

What is it about?

While the responsibility for education and training systems lies with Member States, the EU has a key role in supporting efforts to improve and modernise national education systems. 

In a globalised and knowledge-based economy, Europe requires a highly skilled workforce to ensure that it can compete in terms of productivity and innovation. This is even more the case during times of rapid technological and societal change. 

Recent evidence, however, suggests that there is a growing mismatch between employees’ skills and the needs of the labour market, factors which contribute to unemployment and limit economic growth.

In line with the goals of the Europe 2020 Strategy, the EU’s priorities in this field include:

  • aligning skills with labour market needs
  • reducing the number of early school leavers to below 10% 
  • increasing the share of graduates from tertiary education to at least 40%

How does it work?

The Commission carries out country analyses across a range of policy areas, including in the fields of education and training, as part of the European Semester

These analyses support EU Member States to address social challenges identified at EU, national, and regional level. They also help national governments to assess progress on implementing necessary reforms, as well as areas in need of further investment. 

In the context of the Europe 2020 Strategy for growth and jobs, a series of country-specific recommendations are issued in the first half of the year as part of the European Semester to help Member States tackle the most urgent challenges. 

In addition, each year the Education and Training Monitor provides an updated analysis on the challenges, based on a set of benchmarks. The Monitor also contributes to the EU’s drive for evidence-based policymaking.