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Education - Training - Multilingualism - Youth
The E.U. policies in the fields of Education and Training, Multilingualism and Youth, have significant potential in the economic growth, employment and social cohesion of the E.U., which is recognized in the Strategy "Europe 2020" for growth. Also, these policies make a major contribution to tackling the refugee crisis and the consequent social and economic problems which the crisis has caused to the European countries.
Education - Training
The European Union recognizes that, although Member States are responsible for their educational policy, they face similar economic, social and educational challenges and would benefit from cooperation in this field. The strategic framework "Education and Training 2020" supports the upgrading of educational and training systems in order to reduce school failure rates, promote effective teacher training, increase the number of university graduates and the acquisition of skills to meet the needs of labour market, increase vocational training, reduce unemployment and support social cohesion (for the monitoring report of European Education and Training 2016, https://ec.europa.eu/education/sites/education/files/monitor2016-el_en.pdf).
The Bologna Process, of which Greece is a member, is a collaborative effort of public authorities, universities, teachers and students, as well as stakeholder associations and institutions, including the European Commission, to create a European Higher Education Area. Its objectives are the introduction of the three-cycle system (bachelor/master/doctorate), strengthened quality assurance and easier recognition of qualifications and periods of study. Emphasis is placed on equal access to higher education and on internationalization, creating partnerships between universities and other research bodies at European and international level and enhancing initiatives for cooperation between higher education institutions and the business world, for the promotion of research and easier access to the labor market. (Information about Greek participation, http://www.ehea.info/country-details.aspx?countryId=20).
The EU supports quality assurance in vocational education and training through the creation of national qualifications frameworks, which are linked with the European Qualifications Framework in order to facilitate recognition of qualifications, enhance mobility and tackle unemployment (information about the Greek National Qualifications Framework, http://www.eoppep.gr/images/European/ETHNIKO_PLAISIO_PROSONTON_NOVEMBER_2016.pdf).
The program «Erasmus +» has set under its aegis all the European programs related to education, training, youth and sport. It aims to strengthen skills and employability, modernize education, training and youth policies and offer study opportunities, training, work and volunteering experience abroad to, at least, four million Europeans. The State Scholarships Foundation is the National Management Unit of the Erasmus+ program in the field of Education (http://www.iky.gr/erasmusplus). To address the refugee crisis, the European Commission facilitates the exchange of best practices for the integration of immigrants and finances related activities in the various levels of education (see. http://ec.europa.eu/education/policy/migration_en).
In what concerns Brexit, the U.K. confirms that the rights and benefits of 10,000 Greek students currently studying at British universities and of those starting in the academic year 17/18 are secure to the end of their courses.
The EU's multilingualism policy aims at protecting the rich European linguistic diversity and promoting language learning. In addition to the 24 official EU languages, there are more than 60 regional and minority languages spoken in Europe. The EU strives to protect linguistic diversity and promote learning of foreign languages in the Member States, ensuring social integration of minorities and cultural diversity in Europe. During the Greek Presidency 2014, the Council adopted Conclusions on "Multilingualism and the development of language skills". The Program «Erasmus +» is a source of funding initiatives to protect and promote teaching and learning of minority languages.
The E.U. currently faces a new challenge on multilingualism, which concerns the use of English. English, which is the language of the EU Treaty and the main working language of the European institutions, has been designated as an official E.U. language by the U.K. Brexit may lead to the loss of official-EU-language status for English since, from the two other English-speaking countries, Ireland has set Irish (Gaelic) as its official language and Malta, the Maltese language.
The European Union recognizes the overall responsibility of the Member States in the implementation of their youth policy. The European Youth Strategy (2010-2018) was adopted to help Member States to create equal opportunities for young people in education and the labour market and encourage their active participation in society. Emphasis is placed on eight action areas: education and training, employment and entrepreneurship, health and well-being, social inclusion, civic participation, volunteering, culture and creativity, youth and the world. Through the program "Youth in Action", the EU has adopted the Youthpass card (https://www.youthpass.eu/el/youthpass/) for the recognition of non-formal and informal learning. For 2015, EU interest is focused on cross-sectoral cooperation to address the socio-economic problems of young people, facilitating youth work in order to insure social cohesion and promoting the "Youth Guarantee" which offers to the unemployed under 25 years old an opportunity of lifelong learning, training or employment ( to take advantage of this program in Greece, visit OAED’s site http://www.oaed.gr/youthguarantee).
The program «Erasmus+» in the youth field, is expected to help young people through youth exchanges and volunteering to improve their skills and employment prospects while enhancing European citizenship. The Youth and Lifelong Learning Foundation manages the program in the field of Youth (https://www.inedivim.gr/%CF%80%CF%81%CE%BF%CE%B3%CF%81%CE%AC%CE%BC%CE%BC%CE%B1%CF%84%CE%B1-%CE%B4%CF%81%CE%AC%CF%83%CE%B5%CE%B9%CF%82/erasmus%CE%BD%CE%B5%CE%BF%CE%BB%CE%B1%CE%AF%CE%B1). Council conclusions were adopted on “encouraging political participation of young people in the democratic life in Europe" through civic education, human rights education, intercultural and interfaith education, aimed at the social inclusion of young people and countering extremist trends and radicalization. The Council also adopted the Joint Report on “the implementation of the renewed framework for European cooperation in the youth field (2010-2018)”. The Commission has recently launched the Initiative "Investing in Europe's Youth", with measures to boost youth employment, the improvement and modernization of education, increasing investment in the skills of young people and encouraging mobility, solidarity and citizenship.
For the period 2016-2018 the E.U. proposes actions to address marginalization, the problems of young people outside the educational system (NEETs) and those of young immigrants and refugees (http://ec.europa.eu/youth/policy/implementation/migration_en).