Higher Education and Research

From Berlin to Bergen 

The Council of Europe focuses its contribution to the European Higher Education Area on three action lines:

Recognition of qualifications (one of the three priorities outlined in the Berlin Communiqué)

  • o the ENIC Network and the Lisbon Recognition Convention Committee, promote implementation of the Convention, further develop recognition policies and disseminate examples of good practice;
  • o apply the principles of the Lisbon Recognition Convention to new recognition issues, including transnational education arrangements and new types of qualifications;
  • o promote the recognition of joint degrees, inter alia through the Recommendation on the Recognition of Joint Degrees adopted by the Lisbon Convention Committee on 9 June 2004.

An efficient implementation of structural reforms and the social dimension of the Bologna Process is a transversal issue. In the period 2003-05 the Council of Europe focuses on the Public Responsibility for Higher Education and Research as well as Higher Education Governance.

Work with countries that are either new parties to the Process or that are not Parties to the Process but whose higher education systems are in transition mainly in the areas

  • o advice on new legislation
  • o advice on policy development
  • o sharing examples of good practice

These action lines are projected into concrete actions through participation in the Bologna work programme, by the organisation/ co-organisation of official Bologna seminars or by participation in these, and through its role in the Bologna Follow-Up structures and the resulting working groups, in particular on the qualifications framework and on quality assurance.

Furthermore, the Council of Europe supports countries in its priority areas in their endeavours to reform higher education and thus contributes to the enlargement of the Bologna Process. In the period 2001 – 2003 the Council of Europe worked with all new countries admitted to the Bologna Process (South East Europe and Russia), and continues this work with further priority countries.


Message from the Council of Europe to the meeting of Ministers of the European Higher Education Area, Bergen, 19 – 20 May 2005