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Report on the Ministerial Meeting of the Western Balkans Platform on 02 December

EC Commissioner Mariya Gabriel presents the new Western Balkan Agenda and meets Ministers from the region

On Wednesday 02 December 2020, high-level stakeholders from the European Commission and the Western Balkan region were brought together virtually to discuss the Ministerial Meeting of the Western Balkans Platforms on Education and Training & Research and Innovation.

The Ministerial meeting is organised annually and this year the event took place online with an ambitious programme and more than 50 speakers.

The Director-General of Education, Youth, Culture and Sport opened the meeting, and highlighted the challenges that the pandemic has brought for which investing in research, innovation, education, culture and sport has become more essential than ever.

Later in the morning, Commissioner Mariya Gabriel joined the meeting and presented her vision and new narrative for the region through the ‘Western Balkans Agenda on Innovation, Research, Education, Culture, Youth and Sport. The Commissioner emphasised that the Agenda brings a positive and forward-looking vision, which will open cooperation opportunities to students, researchers, innovators, and cultural operators so that they can access new markets, become more competitive and build sustainable prosperity.

The responsible Ministers for Innovation, Research, Education and Culture in the Western Balkan region discussed and put forward their views on the Western Balkans Agenda throughout four Ministerial Round Tables.

Furthermore, distinguished keynote speakers contributed to the discussions. During the afternoon session, the OECD presented the comparative study of the 2018 PISA results for the region, which gave important insights to regional policy makers who will shape their priorities to build a more resilient, equitable and performing education system.

by Albert Sésé-Ballart

Belgium, Brussels, 04 December 2020

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