New European Qualifications Framework to promote mobility and lifelong learning
27 Ottobre 2007
The Members of the European Parliament have supported a draft resolution to establish a European Qualification Framework for lifelong learning (EQF), calling for EU-wide recognition of job
The draft resolution, written by Italian centre-right deputy Mario Mantovani, was adopted at first reading and aims to ease cross-border mobility for workers and learners. It also gives Member
Sates until 2010 to convert their national qualifications systems to the EQF, so that certificates and diplomas can bear an EQF reference.
The EQF will act as a translation grid for all qualifications, from school-leavers’ diplomas through vocational training certificates to the highest academic degrees, based on eight reference
levels from basic to advanced. These will describe the knowledge, skills and competences of a candidate, regardless of the country or system in which the learner’s qualifications were acquired.
According to the European Commission, this shift of focus from learning inputs to learning outcomes will mean a better match between education and training provisions and the evolving needs of
the labour market. It will also facilitate the validation of non-formal and informal learning, and ease the transfer and use of qualifications across different countries and education and
Although not legally binding, the proposals can be seen as responding to the need for a truly mobile and flexible workforce within the EU.
‘People in Europe too often face obstacles when they try to move from one country to another to learn or work. They sometimes also face obstacles when they want to move from one part of their
own country’s education system to another, e.g. from vocational education and training to higher education,’ said Ján Figel’, European Commissioner for Education, Training, Culture and
‘The EQF will make different qualifications more easily readable between different European countries, and so promote increased mobility for learning or working. Within countries, it has
already encouraged the development of National Qualifications Frameworks. The EQF will also promote lifelong learning, for example by making it easier to gain credit for the learning people
have already achieved,’ he explained.
‘This resolution has set a benchmark. I am convinced that this qualification framework will be of considerable importance [in] revolutionising the world of work and education,’ said Mario
Mantovani at a European Parliament press conference. ‘Citizens’ skills and know-how will enjoy EU-wide recognition. This is a quantum leap in terms of integration in Europe.’
Following the agreement between the European Parliament, the Council and the Commission, the EQF will be formally adopted by the Council in the coming weeks.