News from European Commission

Education and training in Europe: inequality remains a challenge

The European Commission supports Member States in ensuring that their education systems deliver
The 2017 edition of the Commission’s Education and Training Monitor shows that national education systems are becoming more inclusive and effective. Yet it also confirms that students’ educational attainment largely depends on their socio-economic backgrounds.
The European Commission supports Member States in ensuring that their education systems deliver – the data compiled in the annually published Education and Training Monitor is an important part of this work. The latest edition shows that while Member States are making progress towards most of the key EU targets in reforming and modernising education, more efforts are needed to achieve equity in education.
On 17 November, in Gothenburg, the EU Leaders discussed Education and Culture as part of their work on “Building our future together”.

Aid for Trade: Helping developing countries to achieve prosperity through trade and investment
The Commission set out a renewed vision on how to help developing countries fight poverty and create more and better jobs through trade and investment.
The updated “Aid for Trade” Strategy 2017 builds on 10 years of EU Aid for Trade assistance and aims to strengthen and modernise EU support to partner countries. The new Communication adopted sets out ways the Commission can improve and better target its aid for trade.
It puts a strong focus on Least Developed Countries, and countries in situations of fragility.
Commissioner for International Cooperation and Development Neven Mimica said: “Together the European Union and its Member States are already the biggest supporters of aid for trade worldwide.
We are setting out a new strategy to better respond to the complex challenges of today and increase the impact of our actions – to reduce poverty, boost sustainable economic growth and most importantly to ensure that it leaves no one behind.”
Globally the EU and its Member States are the biggest provider of Aid for Trade. In 2015 alone, EU commitments amounted to a record €13.16 billion per year.
What’s new in the Aid for Trade Strategy 2017?
The Communication proposes to:

  • Better combine and coordinate tools for development finance of aid for trade, both at European and national level.
  • Improve synergies with other instruments, such as EU trade agreements, trade schemes or the EU’s innovative External Investment Plan, which will support investments for sustainable development. One of the aims is to support local small and medium-sized

enterprises (SMEs) in benefitting more.

  • Strengthen social and environmental sustainability, together with inclusive economic growth. This will be done for example through increased stakeholder-engagement such as structured dialogue with the private sector, civil society and local authorities.
  • Better target least developed and fragile countries, as well as tailoring approaches to individual countries’ specificities.