Pan European Networks - Horizon 2020 - page 117

Tibor Navracsics
Commissioner for Education, Culture,Youth and Sport
European Commission
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S P E C I A L F E AT U R E : E U R O P E A N I N S T I T U T E O F I N N O V AT I O N & T E C H N O L O G Y
education are not. Financing innovative learning laboratories,
strengthening co-operation between universities and businesses,
improving infrastructure in rural areas and localities with marginalised
communities; these are just a few examples of how investing in education
will sustain Europe’s economic growth in the longer term. I will work with
my fellow commissioners to help turn ideas like these into reality and
make them a success. But we need the support of member states. I
therefore encouraged governments to endorse the Investment Plan at
the European Council of 18-19 December, and to give it more firepower
by making additional payments into the fund. This will allow us to give
valuable education projects an even bigger boost.
Education is of course much more than its economic added value. But
in times of tight public budgets, low investment, unacceptably high
unemployment and an urgent need for renewed growth and job creation,
it is time to remember: education is among the best investments the EU
can make. It offers real value for money. It pays off.
A timely investment
That is why education has rightly been put at the
heart of the EU Investment Plan. The €315bn
European Fund for Strategic Investments,
managed by the European Investment Bank and
co-financed by the European Commission, offers
great opportunities. Each euro placed in the fund
can attract additional private financing for
strategic investments in education over the next
three years, without resulting in additional
public debt.
While investment has too often been lacking,
good ideas for viable projects in the field of
EU efforts set to continue
With support of education systems as a means to meet Europe’s
economic challenges, the EU activities in the field continue to be
guided by the Education and Training 2020 Strategy, setting a
spread of headline goals for Europe to achieve by 2020.
Naturally, the EU has worked to provide member states with
assistance in meeting their educational needs through the
promotion of mutual learning, exchange of good practices,
European approaches to meet challenges and other initiatives.
Given that other policy areas interact with and have an impact on
education, the EU has worked to develop a comprehensive
approach. As such, for example, initiatives such as the Digital
Agenda acknowledge the importance of ‘digital literacy’.
Meanwhile, the European Platform against Poverty and Social
Exclusion has worked to develop solutions to enhance education in
deprived communities, where it is perhaps needed most.
Meanwhile, the successful Erasmus+ programme continues to
support student exchange across Europe, helping to enhance
learning and educational attainment while improving the skills of
those who take part in the programme.
Given the challenges facing Europe, in a globalised world,
the European approach to education will evidently continue to
come forward as a means of ensuring a prosperous future for
the continent.
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