Decision No 2241/2004/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 15 December 2004 on a single Community framework for the transparency of qualifications and competences (Europass)
OJ L 390, 31.12.2004, p. 6–20 (ES, CS, DA, DE, ET, EL, EN, FR, IT, LV, LT, HU, MT, NL, PL, PT, SK, SL, FI, SV)
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Decision No 2241/2004/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council
of 15 December 2004
on a single Community framework for the transparency of qualifications and competences (Europass)
THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND THE COUNCIL OF THE EUROPEAN UNION,
Having regard to the Treaty establishing the European Community, and in particular Articles 149 and 150 thereof,
Having regard to the proposal from the Commission,
Having regard to the Opinion of the European Economic and Social Committee ,
Having regard to the Opinion of the Committee of the Regions ,
Acting in accordance with the procedure laid down in Article 251 of the Treaty ,
(1) Improved transparency of qualifications and competences will facilitate mobility throughout Europe for lifelong learning purposes, therefore contributing to the development of quality education and training, and will facilitate mobility for occupational purposes, between countries as well as across sectors.
(2) The Action Plan on mobility  endorsed by the European Council held in Nice on 7 to 9 December 2000 and Recommendation 2001/613/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 10 July 2001 on mobility within the Community for students, persons undergoing training, volunteers, teachers and trainers , recommended the generalisation of the use of documents for the transparency of qualifications and competences, with a view to creating a European area of qualifications. The Commission's Action Plan for skills and mobility called for instruments supporting the transparency and transferability of qualifications to be developed and strengthened to facilitate mobility within and between sectors. Further action to introduce instruments improving the transparency of diplomas and qualifications was also demanded by the European Council held in Barcelona on 15 and 16 March 2002. The Council's Resolutions of 3 June 2002 on skills and mobility  and of 27 June 2002 on lifelong learning  call for increased cooperation, with a view inter alia to creating a framework for transparency and recognition based on the existing instruments.
(3) The Council Resolution of 19 December 2002 on the promotion of enhanced European cooperation in vocational education and training  called for action to increase transparency in vocational education and training, through the implementation and rationalisation of information tools and networks, including the integration of existing instruments into one single framework. This framework should consist in a portfolio of documents with a common brand name and a common logo, supported by adequate information systems and promoted through sustained promotional action at European and national level.
(4) A number of instruments have been developed in recent years, both at Community and at international level, to help European citizens to communicate better their qualifications and competences when looking for a job or for admission to a learning scheme. These include the common European format for curricula vitae (CVs) proposed by Commission Recommendation 2002/236/EC of 11 March 2002 , the Diploma Supplement recommended by the Convention on the Recognition of Qualifications concerning Higher Education in the European Region, adopted at Lisbon on 11 April 1997, the Europass Training established by Council Decision 1999/51/EC of 21 December 1998 on the promotion of European pathways in work-linked training, including apprenticeship , the Certificate Supplement and the European Language Portfolio developed by the Council of Europe. The single framework should include these instruments.
(5) The single framework should be open to the future inclusion of other documents consistent with its purpose, once the implementation structure and procedures have been established and are operational. In particular, the single framework could be widened subsequently to include an instrument aimed at recording its holders' competences in the field of information technology.
(6) Provision of good quality information and guidance is an important factor in achieving improved transparency of qualifications and competences. The existing services and networks already play a valuable role that could be enhanced through closer cooperation in order to reinforce the added value of Community action.
(7) It is therefore necessary to ensure coherence and complementarity between the actions implemented in pursuance of this Decision and other relevant policies, instruments and actions. The last-mentioned include, at Community level, the European Centre for the Development of Vocational Training (Cedefop) established by Council Regulation (EEC) No 337/75 , the European Training Foundation established by Council Regulation (EEC) No 1360/90  and the European Employment Services network (EURES) established by Commission Decision 2003/8/EC of 23 December 2002 implementing Council Regulation (EEC) No 1612/68 as regards the clearance of vacancies and applications for employment . Likewise, at the international level, there is the European Network of National Information Centres on Academic Recognition (ENIC), established by the Council of Europe and Unesco.
(8) The Europass training document, established by Decision 1999/51/EC, should therefore be replaced by a similar document with a wider scope, serving to record all periods of transnational mobility for learning purposes, at whatever level and for whatever target, achieved throughout Europe, which satisfy appropriate quality criteria.
(9) Europass should be implemented through national bodies in compliance with Article 54(2)(c) and (3) of Council Regulation (EC, Euratom) No 1605/2002 of 25 June 2002 on the Financial Regulation applicable to the general budget of the European Communities .
(10) Participation should be open to acceding States, to non-Community countries of the European Economic Area and to the candidate countries for accession to the European Union, in accordance with the relevant provisions in the instruments governing relations between the Community and those countries. Third country nationals resident in the European Union should also be able to benefit from the system.
(11) Social partners play an important role in relation to this Decision, and should be involved in its implementation. The Advisory Committee for Vocational Training set up by Council Decision 63/266/EEC of 2 April 1963 laying down general principles for implementing a common vocational training policy , composed of representatives of the social partners and of the national authorities of Member States, should be regularly informed on the implementation of this Decision. The social partners at European level and other relevant stakeholders, including education and training bodies, will have a particular role in terms of transparency initiatives that could be incorporated into Europass in due course.
(12) Since the objective of this Decision, namely the establishment of a single Community framework for the transparency of qualifications and competences cannot be sufficiently achieved by the Member States and can be better achieved at Community level, the Community may adopt measures, in accordance with the principle of subsidiarity as set out in Article 5 of the Treaty. In accordance with the principle of proportionality, as set out in that Article, this Decision does not go beyond what is necessary in order to achieve that objective.
(13) The measures necessary for the implementation of this Decision should be adopted in accordance with Council Decision 1999/468/EC of 28 June 1999 laying down the procedures for the exercise of implementing powers conferred on the Commission .
(14) Decision 1999/51/EC should be repealed,
HAVE ADOPTED THIS DECISION:
Subject-matter and scope
This Decision establishes a single Community framework for achieving the transparency of qualifications and competences by means of the creation of a personal, coordinated portfolio of documents, to be known as "Europass", which citizens can use on a voluntary basis to better communicate and present their qualifications and competences throughout Europe. The use of Europass or of any of the Europass documents shall not impose any obligations or confer any rights other than those defined in this Decision.
The Europass documents shall be:
(a) the Europass-curriculum vitae (hereafter "the Europass-CV") referred to in Article 5;
(b) the documents referred to in Articles 6 to 9;
(c) any other documents approved as Europass documents by the Commission, in accordance with the criteria laid out in Annex I, and the procedure referred to in Article 4(2).
Without prejudice to the procedure referred to in Article 4(2), the Commission shall consult the social partners and other relevant stakeholders at European level, including education and training bodies.
1. For the purposes of Article 2(c), the Commission shall be assisted, depending on the nature of the document concerned, by the Socrates Committee and/or by the Leonardo Committee, established by Decision No 253/2000/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 24 January 2000 establishing the second phase of the Community action programme in the field of education "Socrates"  and by Council Decision 1999/382/EC of 26 April 1999 establishing the second phase of the Community vocational training action programme "Leonardo da Vinci"  respectively.
2. Where reference is made to this paragraph, Articles 4 and 7 of Decision 1999/468/EC shall apply, having regard to the provisions of Article 8 thereof.
The Europass-CV shall provide citizens with the opportunity to present in a clear and comprehensive way information on all their qualifications and competences. The Europass-CV shall be as set out in Annex II.
The Europass-Mobility shall record periods of learning attended by its holders in countries other than their own. The Europass-Mobility shall be as set out in Annex III.
The Europass-Diploma Supplement shall provide information on its holder's educational achievements at higher education level. The Europass-Diploma Supplement shall be as set out in Annex IV.
The Europass-Language Portfolio shall provide citizens with the opportunity to present their language skills. The Europass-Language Portfolio shall be as set out in Annex V.
The Europass-Certificate Supplement shall describe the competences and qualifications corresponding to a vocational training certificate. The Europass-Certificate Supplement shall be as set out in Annex VI.
Europass in the Internet
In order to implement this Decision, the Commission and the relevant national authorities shall cooperate in setting up and managing a Europass Internet-based information system, which shall include elements managed at Community level and elements managed at national level. The information system supporting the Europass framework shall be as set out in Annex VII.
National Europass Centres
1. Each Member State shall be responsible for the implementation of this Decision at national level. For this purpose, each Member State shall designate a National Europass Centre (NEC), which shall be responsible for the coordination at national level of all activities referred to in this Decision and which shall replace or develop, where appropriate, existing bodies currently carrying out similar activities.
A European network of NECs is hereby established. Its activities shall be coordinated by the Commission.
2. The NEC shall:
(a) coordinate, in cooperation with the relevant national bodies, the activities related to making available or issuing the Europass documents or, where appropriate, carry out these activities;
(b) set up and manage the national information system, in accordance with Article 10;
(c) promote the use of Europass, including through Internet based services;
(d) ensure, in cooperation with the relevant national bodies, that adequate information and guidance on the Europass and its documents is made available to individual citizens;
(e) facilitate the provision of information and guidance on learning opportunities throughout Europe, on the structure of education and training systems, and on other issues related to mobility for learning purposes, in particular through close coordination with relevant Community and national services, and, where appropriate, make available to citizens an introductory guide to mobility;
(f) manage at national level the Community financial support for all activities related to this Decision;
(g) participate in the European network of NECs.
3. The NEC shall act as an implementation body at national level in accordance with Article 54(2)(c) and (3) of Regulation (EC, Euratom) No 1605/2002.
Commission's and Member States' joint tasks
The Commission and the Member States shall:
(a) ensure that adequate promotion and information activities are carried out at Community and national level, covering inter alia citizens, education and training providers and social partners and enterprises including SMEs, supporting and integrating as necessary the action of the NECs;
(b) ensure adequate cooperation, at the appropriate level, with relevant services, in particular the EURES service and other Community services;
(c) take steps to facilitate equal opportunities, in particular by raising awareness among all relevant actors;
(d) ensure that all relevant stakeholders, including education and training bodies and social partners, are involved in the implementation of this Decision;
(e) ensure that in all activities related to the implementation of this Decision the relevant Community and national provisions concerning the processing of personal data and the protection of privacy are fully respected.
1. The Commission shall, in cooperation with the Member States, ensure the overall consistency of the actions implemented in pursuance of this Decision with other relevant Community policies, instruments and actions, in particular in the fields of education, vocational training, youth, employment, social inclusion, research and technological development.
2. The Commission shall secure the expertise of the European Centre for the Development of Vocational Training (Cedefop) in implementing this Decision, in accordance with Regulation (EEC) No 337/75. Subject to the same conditions and in the relevant areas, coordination shall be established under the auspices of the Commission with the European Training Foundation as set out by Regulation (EEC) No 1360/90.
3. The Commission shall regularly inform the European Parliament and the Council, as well as other relevant bodies, and in particular the Advisory Committee on Vocational Training, on the implementation of this Decision.
1. Participation in the activities referred to in this Decision shall be open to acceding States and to non-Community countries of the European Economic Area in accordance with the conditions laid down in the EEA Agreement.
2. Participation shall also be open to the candidate countries for accession to the European Union in accordance with their respective Europe Agreements.
By 1 January 2008 and then every four years, the Commission shall submit to the European Parliament and the Council an evaluation report on the implementation of this Decision, based on an evaluation carried out by an independent body.
The annual appropriations shall be authorised by the budgetary authority within the limits of the financial perspective. The expenditure resulting from this Decision shall be managed as set out in Annex VIII.
Decision 1999/51/EC is hereby repealed.
Entry into force
This Decision shall enter into force on 1 January 2005.
This Decision is addressed to the Member States.
Done at Strasbourg, 15 December 2004
For the European Parliament
J. Borrell Fontelles
For the Council
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