On 22nd May the European Commission released a proposal for a Council recommendation on promoting the automatic mutual recognition of higher education and upper secondary education diplomas and the outcomes of learning periods abroad where they call for automatic recognition of learning periods abroad within upper secondary school. In particular, “the outcomes from learning periods of up to one year abroad during secondary education and training in one Member State should be fully recognised in any other, with the learner not being required to repeat the programme year in the country of origin, provided that the competences acquired are broadly in line with the competences defined in the national curricula”

EFIL, EEE-YFU and OBESSU released a joint reaction, welcoming the proposal of the Commission.

The European Commission in its Staff working document accompanying the proposal refers multiple times to the information on recognition practices that EFIL provided and that are collected in the Study ‘Recognition of school study periods abroad in Europe – an overview and policy recommendations’  which has just been released. We are glad our expertise has been taken into account.

The Austrian Presidency of the EU Council aims at reaching an agreement on the text of the recommendation by the end of the year. We hope that our policy recommendations based on evidence and years of experience will inform this decision making process.

In the meantime, in the next days, the European Parliament will vote on the EU budget for 2019 and the CULT committee has table a proposal for funding a Preparatory action that supports the implementation of the Council recommendation on automatic recognition.

Let’s hope that the political will to create ‘a Europe in which learning, studying and doing research would not be hampered by borders’ will bring to effective policies of recognition of school study periods abroad.

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