CEEMET acknowledges the Commission’s consultation document aiming at establishing a “European Qualifications Framework”. According to the Commission document, the EQF shall be developed and implemented as a voluntary meta-framework to increase transparency and support mutual trust. Its main goals are to enable qualification frameworks and systems at national and sectoral level to be related to each other and thus to facilitate the transfer and recognition of the qualifications of individual citizens. However, for CEEMET, and as already stated
in previous CEEMET papers and addressed at a joint CEEMET-EMF conference on "Skills Shortages in the Metal Industry" - it is the transparency and the comparability of occupational qualifications of employees which are more important for the companies.
Is there truely a need for an EQF?
The Commission derives its mandate for the EQF initiative in particular from a request of the EU Heads of States and Governments in March 2005. In line with the limited mandate of the Community to the Commission rightly highlights the voluntary nature of the EQF which shall not entail any legal obligations.
Even though the EQF initiative shall not result in a binding regulation, the underlying principles of the "better regulation" initiative should apply also here. As is stressed in the Consultation document, the EQF, given its voluntary nature, can only function properly and achieve its goals if there is a true commitment from all parties involved. Therefore, a real need for setting up an EQF is a precondition for the success of this reading tool. In this latter respect, the Commission Consultation paper might be interpreted in a different way, when it says "In particular, the stakeholders must be convinced that a European meta-framework is needed .....".