Opinion Factsheet  

Digital Education Action Plan 2021-2027

Opinion Number: CDR 4769/2020
Rapporteur: COUGHLAN Gillian
Commission: SEDEC
Status: Currently in discussion
Date: 07/05/2021

 Respond to the suggestion of the European Commission for ‘active involvement of the Committee of the Regions and local authorities’ in the implementation of high-performing digital education ecosystem and fostering digital skills and competences for the digital transformation;
 Consider possible association of the CoR in the strategic dialogue between the European Commission and the EU Member States with a view to preparing a proposal for a Council Recommendation on the enabling factors for successful digital education by 2022;
 Propose in this context an approach to the future CoR role in strengthening cooperation and exchange in digital education at EU level, either the involvement of the CoR in the future Digital Education Hub at the European level or possibly even exploring the idea for a digital skills alliance initiated by the CoR, supported by the European Parliament, cooperating with the European Commission and involving a range of key stakeholders;
 Carry forward the key messages of previous CoR opinions on the requirements for the EU policy to foster both high level specialised digital skills in the regions and the general literacy of the citizens as a precondition both for human development and democracy and economic development and cohesion;
 Insist on the local and regional contribution towards regulating the safety and ethics of the use of new technologies in education, especially in the area of artificial intelligence and data protection;
 Take a position on adequacy of available EU funds, policy programmes and support mechanisms for making education and training systems fit for the digital age at the local and regional level;
 Address outstanding issues of equal access to education in the context of digitalisation.
The rapporteur was a keynote speaker along with the Commissioner and the EP rapporteur during the EP CULT Public Hearing “The education package: aims, challenges and prospects for success” 2 December 2020 and featured in the reports on the same in severl media, including the EP CULT Dec 2020 newsletter which has given prominence to the following political messages of the CoR: the CoR rapporteur called for a major investment in training for newly-qualified and established teachers, increased connectivity across the EU and listening to students’ voices in policy-making. The EU Digital Education Hub could help co- ordinate training across the Member States, sharing best practice and resources and creating economies of scale. These ideas were echoed and supported by a broad array of speakers during the hearing.