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Thursday, 24 June 2010

EU leaders to end dispute over 2020 targets

The European Council confirms the five EU headline targets which will constitute shared objectives guiding the action of member states and the Union," read the draft conclusions. The objectives include employment, research, climate change, education and poverty . The text stresses that the European Council "agrees on the quantification of the education and social inclusion/poverty indicators," which have been a matter of dispute for many months. On education, leaders are set to agree on the target of reducing school drop-out rates "to less than 10%" from their current 15%.They will also back the objective of "increasing the share of 30-34 year olds having completed higher education to at least 40%," reads the draft text. Germany had long opposed these targets, arguing that education is a national and regional matter, and that EU meddling in these issues would be counterproductive. However, after strong pressure from the EU institutions, Germany accepted the targets. The objective also indicates a more limited age group for which the education targets are considered. Rather than seeking to increase the number of diplomas for youngsters, as initially foreseen, the new more specific target focuses on tertiary education for people in their mid-thirties.

Source: euractiv.com