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Building Bridges: Eurydice Network’s Enlargement

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News & Articles

Building Bridges: Eurydice Network’s Enlargement

29 January 2024

“I started by speaking of Europe responding to the call of history. And history is now calling us to work on completing our Union.” President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, State of the Union address at the European Parliament in September 2023 

 

Ms. von der Leyen's address was a powerful call to action, emphasising the need to move swiftly to an expanded European Union based on common values where citizens can “live, study and work in freedom.” This message is especially pertinent following Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine and amidst the looming shadow of security concerns that threatens the continent’s stability. Her words have been followed by the European Council’s decision to open negotiations with Ukraine and Moldova, and grant Georgia candidate status.  

 

The European Union's ongoing path to enlargement marks a significant milestone in the continent's history, reflecting a deep commitment to stability, security, and unity. Education lies at the heart of this project, as long-term integration can only be sustained by learning in a spirit of collaboration and exchange. This has already begun through programmes such as Erasmus+ as well as through the work of developing a European Higher Education Area, where all three countries have participated in the Bologna Process since 2005.  

 

Against the backdrop of European enlargement talks, the Eurydice Network has already undergone a significant expansion this January. With the inclusion of National Units from Georgia, Moldova, and Ukraine, the network is responding to the call of history and evolving into a more encompassing platform for educational exchange and cooperation. The expansion of the Eurydice network signifies a collective commitment to building a more robust, inclusive, and innovative educational landscape. It underlines the opening of new avenues for cross-border cooperation and the development of joint educational initiatives.  

 

This development highlights the Eurydice Network’s role as catalyst for evidence-based policymaking in the educational sector. At a first meeting with the new National Units in Brussels on Friday 26 January, Claudia Melinte from the Erasmus+ Office in Moldova commented: “We have a beautiful journey ahead of us and a lot to learn. We feel a huge responsibility as what we are doing will build the image of the entire education system in Moldova." Ana Baramia from the Georgian Ministry of Education, Science and Youth, added: “It is an immense pleasure to join this wonderful team of great people. We are happy to be on board, to be part of the Eurydice network, and we hope for an excellent cooperation.”  

 

The exchange of knowledge and experiences among member countries will not only enrich educational practices but also contribute to the creation of a more interconnected and harmonious European educational community. Speaking about joining the Eurydice Network, on behalf of the Ministry of Education and Science of Ukraine, Natalia Pron shared that, “education is one of the key points of human capital development and for us now it is the best chance to use all our possibilities and prove to the whole world that it is time to integrate fully into the European family.”  

 

At the heart of the European integration process lies the crucial need for a collaborative environment that transcends borders. In tandem with this vision, the Eurydice network extends a warm invitation to the entire education community of Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine, welcoming educators, researchers, policymakers, and students alike.  

 

Florence Mondin, Head of Unit responsible for the Eurydice Network, reminded the three newly joining units that this was a milestone that would benefit not only them, but also the Network as a whole: “When countries work together, it creates opportunities for people to learn about different cultures, traditions, and languages. The exchange of information, knowledge and experience within the Eurydice Network promotes understanding and mutual respect, fostering more inclusive and interconnected educational collaboration. This is what we strive to achieve in our work, and the reason we are at a pivotal moment in shaping the future of European education”.  

Author: Olga Alexandrova
Edited by: David Crosier and Anna Maria Volpe

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