Skip to main content
International Partnerships
News announcement29 June 2022ParisDirectorate-General for International Partnerships

UNESCO Pre-Summit - Transforming education

Children with school books
Children with school books
UNESCO - credit: Anne Muller

The French Presidency – represented by the Ministry for National Education and Youth and the Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs –, together with the European Commission, held a ministerial round table on 29 June in Paris, to discuss the role of the European Union in transforming education.

Opened by the French Minister for National Education and Youth, Pap Ndiaye, and the European Commissioner for International Partnerships, Jutta Urpilainen (represented) and closed by the Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs, this event was held as part of the Pre-Summit on transforming education organised in Paris by UNESCO.

The aim of this Pre-Summit is to provide input for the UN Summit on the same topic scheduled for 19 September 2022 in New York. Alongside the United Nation’s General Assembly, the Summit, convened by Secretary-General António Guterres, aims to secure political and financial commitments in order to accelerate the progress being made towards achieving Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 4: quality education for all.

The ministerial round table on 29 June 2022 highlighted innovative solutions and showcased the progress made by the European Education Area as well as the approach by Team Europe in terms of partnerships both at regional and international level. Concrete examples of cooperation between the EU, its Member States and their partner countries were presented, such as the “E-Youth” initiative in Mozambique. E-Youth aims to promote the empowerment of young girls by providing support to those that wish to become skilled in computer sciences, technology, engineering and maths or coding. This initiative also strengthens the partnerships between Mozambican and European universities and offers university scholarships to young Mozambicans pursuing study programmes in Europe.

The French Presidency – represented by the French Ministry for National Education and Youth and the Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs – and the European Commission have jointly welcomed the initiative of the Summit on Transforming Education and have reaffirmed the EU’s commitment to bolster its efforts and strengthen its role in international cooperation in order to promote education as a driver to achieve all SDGs for societies that are more equitable, inclusive and capable of managing the digital and ecological transitions.

Lastly, this event, held under the French Presidency of the Council of the European Union, was an opportunity to reiterate France’s commitment to upholding education as a key priority at national, European and international level.

As Pap Ndiaye, French Minister for National Education and Youth, said, “The concerns shared by the European Union and the United Nations show how important and feasible it will be to take action at global level to achieve Sustainable Development Goal no.4, for quality education for all children, especially girls and the most marginalised. While we are faced with the same challenges, it is in our interest to maintain dialogue and cooperate to achieve our shared goals.”

Team Europe”, said Jutta Urpilainen, European Commissioner for International Partnerships, “must act as a driving force in the sector of education at national, regional and international level. I am convinced that by jointly stepping up all our efforts in the area of education, especially in the framework of the EU’s Global Gateway strategy, we can considerably improve the quality and access to education for all young people throughout the world. As a start, I have decided to increase the funding in education in our partner countries from 7% to 13% of the European Union’s budget for international partnerships, and together with our Member States, we will work on concrete initiatives such as teacher training and mobility.” 


Publication date
29 June 2022
Directorate-General for International Partnerships