The 10th Subcommittee meeting on topics related to Education, Research and Technology, Information Society, and Social Policy between the EU and Albania took place on 15 November in Brussels. Representatives from the European Commission (Commission) discussed with relevant Albanian authorities the most recent developments in these areas. The meeting was co-chaired for the EU by Mr. Georg Ziegler, Deputy Head of Unit for Albania and Bosnia and Herzegovina at the Directorate General for Neighbourhood and Enlargement Negotiations of the European Commission, and for Albania by Mr. Gent Cakaj, Deputy Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs.
The Commission welcomed the progress achieved by the Albanian authorities in the past year, particularly regarding the participation in PISA 2018, efforts taken for teacher training and the work undertaken in the area of employment and social policy. The Commission commended Albania for having achieved a substantial increase of Albanians benefitting from the Erasmus+ educational programme and for the adoption of the National Strategy for Science, Technology and innovation 2017-2020. The Commission encouraged the authorities to take further steps to complete the drafting process of the Albanian Smart Specializations Strategy and to make more efforts in promoting the opportunities linked with Albania’s participation in the EU research programme (“Horizon 2020”) as this can drive sustainable and inclusive growth and jobs. The crucial importance of finalizing the adoption of all the bylaws related to Vocational Education and Training as well those related to the amendments to the Albanian Qualification Framework was stressed. The Commission also underlined the need of completing the implementation of the digital switchover and of the emergency number (112) in the whole country, which is relevant for all citizens.