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Exchange of views with Commisisoner Margaritis Schinas

24-09-2020 - 15:43
© @ European Union 2019 - European Parliament

The key event of the CULT meeting of 22 September was the structured dialogue with Vice-President Margaritis Schinas who appeared before the CULT Committee for the first time since his hearing as then Commissioner-designate in September 2019 to set out the upcoming education package that the Commission intends to publish on 30 September. The package has two central strands – an updated Communication on the European Education Area and a revamped Digital Education Action Plan (DEAP).

Mr Schinas underlined the central social, economic and democratic role that education plays, arguing that learning without barriers must become a reality for all. He emphasised that the Covid-19 pandemic had been a stark reminder of the challenges that EU Member States share and argued that the lessons from the past six months were also of paramount importance in adapting to the profound changes needed to drive the digital and green transitions. He pointed, in particular, to the worrying realisation that lockdown measures had highlighted, and indeed exacerbated, existing inequalities and that education policy must ensure that existing differences do not lead to lifelong disadvantage. Mr Schinas argued that a new plan for a European Education Area and a Digital Education Action Plan were key planks in the recovery and return-to-growth strategy.