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Printed: 07.12.2021.

PrintTeachers in education and training: creating European Education Area

Eugene Eteris, BC International Editor, Copenhagen, 27.09.2019.
Investing in education is of paramount importance for a perspective growth in any state. But it is the teacher that makes the greatest impact on students’ educational quality. The teaching profession is facing several important challenges across the EU: shortages in staff, attracting talented teachers, and ensuring innovation in teaching and learning practices.


At the second European Education Summit (September 2019), the European Commission issued the new “Education and Training Monitor”, which for the eighth year analyzed the education and training systems in the EU states. Besides, the Monitor shows further progress towards important EU education and training targets and highlights the need to better support teachers and make the teaching profession more attractive.

On the 2nd EU Education Summit in: https://ec.europa.eu/education/summit_en


The quality of teachers is considered to be the single greatest factor within schools impacting students’ educational outcomes. The Education and Training Monitor-2019 uses the latest OECD’s TALIS data on school environments, career progression and opportunities for lifelong learning. Besides, it provides comparative insights into the EU member states’ national education and training systems and policies.


Commissioner for education and culture mentioned that investing in teachers means giving them the optimal tools to work with and recognition they deserve.

No doubt, the success of any education reform depends on teachers; hence the better states respond to teachers’ needs the better it is for creating a true European Education Area by 2025.

The Education and Training Monitor-2019 has a vital role to play in driving further reforms in the states’ education systems while helping to ensure that schools and universities use best and most talented teachers.

The EU’s supporting education policies

According to the division of competences between the EU institutions and the states, the education and culture policies are among so-called supporting and supplementing activities from the EU. Thus, the Commission supports the states to improve their education systems through policy cooperation, benchmarking and funding programmes such as Erasmus+.

By fostering dialogue among the states’ education authorities, the Commission helps the states in improving their education systems.

On Erasmus+ see: https://ec.europa.eu/programmes/erasmus-plus/node_en


For example, the new Monitor focuses on teachers and includes findings on teachers’ profession made by the OECD experts, so called TALIS – the Teachers and Learning International Survey, showing teachers’ role in tackling pressing educational issues, e.g. through ICT and AI. Thus, the Monitor recommends ensuring an appropriate number of teachers in the national education system: in all subjects and across rural and urban areas.

At the same time, it highlights that greater policy efforts are needed to attract the best candidates to teaching, while ensuring that they are properly trained and motivated to stay in the profession.

Education is high on the EU's political agenda: working with the states, the Commission has laid the foundations of a European Education Area, which is about enhancing learning, cooperation and excellence.

Several other EU programmes help stimulate investment and support policy priorities in education: e.g. the Erasmus+ programme, the European Structural and Investment Funds, including the Youth Employment Initiative, as well as Horizon 2020 and the European Institute of Innovation and Technology.

The Commission has proposed to significantly boost funding for young people and learning in the EU's next long-term budget (2021-27).

On EU education are in:



Teacher’s profession

When it comes to investment in education, the Monitor's data shows that public expenditure on education in the EU has remained broadly stable at EU level; however, the member states still invest less in education than they did before the economic crisis of 2007-08.

The Monitor reveals that the EU states have now almost reached their target for reducing early school leaving. Yet, while the share of pupils dropping out has declined from 14.2% in 2009 to 10.6% in 2018, progress has slowed since 2016.

The percentage of young people holding a tertiary education diploma rose from 32.3% in 2009 to 40.7% in 2018.

The Monitor also shows that higher educational attainment corresponds to higher employment rates among recent graduates and more significant participation in adult learning.

The share of children enrolled in early childhood education rose from 90.8% in 2009 to 95.4% in 2017.

While participation in education has been growing in Europe, one in five 15-year-old pupils still cannot solve simple reading, math’s and science tasks, while too many children remain at risk of educational poverty.


The 2019- Education and Training Monitor marks ten years since the start of the EU cooperation framework Education and Training 2020 (ET-2020), which was agreed by all EU states about ten years ago.

The ET-2020 not only measures progress in the states’ education and training policies but includes “the treatment of education issues” in the annual European Semester process. Besides, ET-2020 helps to identify where EU funding for education, training and skills should be targeted in the EU's next long-term budget.

On EU education & training program-2020 in:


The Monitor analyses the main challenges for European education systems and presents policies that can make them more responsive to societal and labour market needs.


More information in the following web-links: 

- the Education and Training Monitor website (including EU and country-specific factsheets and infographics); 

European Education Summit website

European Education Area website.

General link: https://europa.eu/rapid/press-release_IP-19-5729_en.htm?locale=en/ Brussels, 26 September 2019.