The Netherlands take over Presidency of the Council
The rotating Presidency of the Council for the first semester 2016 has been taken over by the Netherlands (who last presided in 2004). The Dutch Presidency will follow the direction pointed by Jean-Claude Juncker when he took over the Presidency of the EU Commission following the EU Parliament elections in 2014. Indeed, the key principles are: a Union focused on growth and jobs, that connects with its citizens, and focuses on essentials, in full respect of the principle of subsidiarity. This last point underlines the idea expressed in the letter adressed to the House of representatives by the Dutch Foreign Affairs Ministry, according to which “the EU should not involve itself in matters that the Member States are perfectly capable of dealing with themselves, like health care, pensions, taxes and education”. Nonetheless, the Dutch priorities for education are skills mismatch and vocational education and training; fight against radicalisation and integration of migrants; online education; mental health in education; and in general, how to modernise education to adapt it to current needs. The LLLPlatform stresses the need for the Dutch Presidency to ensure proper follow-up to the Paris Declaration as stated in our January Position Paper and in the conclusions adopted during the Civil Society Day.