Croatia has for the first time the presidency of the Council of the European Union starting off this January and running for a period of six months till June 2020. The Croatian presidency priorities are included in a programme named ‘A strong Europe in a world of challenges’. EPR welcomes that within the priorities outlined for the next six months education, lifelong learning, skills and the labour market are included.
In addition, the Presidency will focus on finding solutions to the problems posed by issues such as changing demographics and rapid digitalisation. For this to be done, the Croatian presidency has identified groups of people in the EU most affected by those including: long-term unemployed persons, socially excluded persons, women who cannot work due to non shared family obligations and young people who are not in education or lack work experience. A conference taking place from 12 to 13 May in Dubrovnik will raise awareness over increasing access to lifelong learning and developing skills for employability for those looking for work. In addition to exchanging good practices, the Presidency calls for innovative forms of work to be explored through dialogue between social partners and other stakeholders in the social market. One major point of discussion will involve the proposal for a new strategic framework for cooperation in education and training by 2030.