23.03.2010
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EU 2020 strategy without education targets is unthinkable

“We already thought the European Commission’s proposed target of 40% higher education graduates was low. If Germany and other countries want to scrap this target, Europe can stop pretending that it wants knowledge and skills to be a key element of the European society and economy”, said Ligia Deca, Chairperson of the European Students’ Union.

Deca reacts to the comments given by Wolfgang Reinhardt, Europe minister for the German state of Baden-Württemberg, who last week told Euractiv that Germany does not accept the education benchmarks in the European Commission’s EU 2020 strategy. The Commission proposes that the Research and Development (R&D) investment should be at least 3% of the EU GDP, and that “at least 40% of the young generation should have a tertiary degree”.
Deca said: “We ask Germany to proactively take up the debate and support the positive attention towards minimum standard benchmarks for higher education. ESU understands the German federal structure and the education competences of the Länder. But we think that having EU standards on higher education participation is an essential condition to empowering Europe’s future active citizens.”

This week, the European Union’s heads of state and government meet in Brussels to debate the European Commission’s EU 2020 strategy proposal. ESU has already said that even a goal of 40% of tertiary education graduates is not very ambitious and sees a focus on higher education as crucial for Europe in the next decade.

Deca commented: “These benchmarks should be considered as a minimal requirement that should be guaranteed by all member states of the European Union.”

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