Early Childhood Education and Care discussed at Ministerial Meeting of the Western Balkans

Ministers of Education from the region have been invited to review the state of educational systems in their countries, learn about the latest EU initiatives, identify priorities, and agree on follow-up to studies and reports and deeper cooperation.

On 3 and 4 June, Education Ministers from the Western Balkans gathered in Belgrade for the 8th Ministerial Meeting of the Western Balkans Platform on Education and Training, organised yearly by DG EAC. This year, the chosen topic for discussion was Early Childhood Education and Care (ECEC) and Ministers were invited to share experiences and exchange views on progress made and challenges remaining in that area.

Opening the event, Commissioner Navracsics said: "Since 2015 the Erasmus+ programme has supported 27,000 student and staff exchanges in higher education to and from the Western Balkans. However, to tackle the common challenges facing our economies and societies, we need to start much earlier. That is why I am very pleased that we will be discussing n ECEC which lays the foundations for children's development and their later success in life – and can play a role in building fairer, more resilient societies".

Ministers from Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Montenegro, North Macedonia and Serbia attended the meeting, together with regional stakeholders such as the Regional Cooperation Council (RCC), the European Reform Initiative for South Eastern Europe (ERI-SEE), the European Training Foundation (ETF), the OECD, the Regional Youth Cooperation Office (RYCO), the Western Balkans Alumni Association (WBAA), representatives from Member States, as well as National Agencies and Erasmus+ Offices.