European Commission wants to improve Europass

The European Commission has presented a proposal for improvement of services for skills and qualifications (Europass).
As part of the New Skills Agenda for Europe, the European Commission envisages a review of the single European framework for promoting transparency in qualifications (Europass). The aim is to better present the different skills and qualifications to jobseekers on the European labour market. Europass provides different instruments such as a model CV, questionnaires for (self-)assessment of individual skills and qualification explanations but also information on possibilities for validating non-formal and informal learning.

More synergy effects and more transparency

The two main amendments in the proposal are the incorporation of ESCO as well as the planned fusion of the current three coordination points (Europass, Euroguidance and European Qualifications Framework) in a single body.
ESCO (European Skills/Competences, qualifications and occupations) would be institutionalised as a common reference system.
EURES, a network which is intended to bring together jobseekers and employers using a match-making instrument, would be improved as a result.

Opportunities, but also risks

Better comparability and stronger support for matching jobseekers and employers is to be welcomed. Increased mobility on the European labour market is desirable, since employees and employers alike can benefit. In this regard, the use of ESCO as a reference system for EURES has the potential to move closer to this objective. ESCO has not yet been fully developed. Only a few occupations with their related skills have been identified. Yet it offers the potential for an improved match-making and hence increased opportunities for greater labour market mobility within Europe.

The existing coordination points for Europass, Euroguidance and European Qualifications Framework (EQF) already do good work. At BDA we feel there is no need to merge the three networks, since different competences are used for each instrument. The German Federal Ministry of Education and Research follows our argument.

Negotiations will probably start before the end of the year. As a decision, the Europass framework is binding and is to be applied directly in EU-28.