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EQF and Europass evaluations: steps forward for the recognition of skills

The European Commission published the results of the evaluation of two key EU initiatives: the European Qualification Framework (EQF) and the Europass framework. These tool have become daily companions to learners and workers and came to life to support the recognition of their studies, knowledge, and skills (including transversal skills).

Now, the evaluation processes took stock of the achievements of the two initiatives as well as of lessons learned, paving the way for future improvements.


European Qualifications Framework

What is the European Qualification Framework? The EQF is "a translation tool to make national qualifications easier to understand and more comparable" as it seeks to harmonised different levels across EU Member States. The EQF aims to improve the transparency, comparability and portability of qualifications and to facilitate lifelong learning. It aims to contribute to the modernisation of education and training systems and increase in employability, mobility and social integration of workers and learners. As such, focuses strongly on formal education settings - which are, by nature, easier to compare. Harmonisation (or progress towards it) outside of the formal sectors has been sketchy.

The evaluation pointed at the EQF as a strong tool, which delivered good results. and the progress achieved corresponds to what was expected, even if further efforts are needed in some areas. For instance, consulted citizens, local and national authorities are three times more likely to expect a qualification from the formal domain to be recognised in another country, compared to qualification awarded outside the formal system.

Europass evaluation

Europass is one of the 12 actions of the 2020 European Skills Agenda, which aims to help individuals and businesses develop more and better skills to support upskilling and reskilling. The new platform was launched in July 2020.

Europass is seen as a valuable one-stop-shop bringing together skills, qualifications and labour market mobility tools. It is most popular with young users at the early stages of their careers. The potential of Europass can be further increased by providing more information on qualifications and learning opportunities as well as information in the areas of career guidance, validation opportunities and recognition of qualifications with stronger links to national services. Europass has proven to be effective in facilitating mobility for work and study in the EU, as a solution to present knowledge, skills, and competences in a standardised format. This is because Europass offers tools, services, and information especially relevant to those seeking job and learning opportunities across borders.

Further developments in data analysis and AI could support the provision of more tailored services to Europass users and unlock the platform’s potential to address skills and labour shortages.

Want to read more? The following documents are now publicly available:


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