On Friday 8 November, the Benelux (union between Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg) and the Baltic Countries announced their intention to automate the mutual recognition of diplomas and degrees awarded by their higher education institutions.
This project of automatic recognition of diplomas involving Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg on the one hand, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania on the other, is a precursor in Europe.
The automatic recognition of diplomas allows students to avoid long and stressful procedures for their access to other studies or to the labour market. In addition, it makes life easier for higher education institutions, authorities and companies wishing to hire graduates.
Automatic recognition has existed within the Benelux since 2015, as well as between the three Baltic States since 2018. For this to happen between the two regional blocs, a new multilateral treaty will be essential and will be open to other countries and regions. It is with this in mind that the EU Council urges the 28 EU Member States to make automatic recognition of higher education qualifications a reality by 2025.
The declaration of intent was signed under the auspices of the Secretary General of the Benelux, in Brussels, by the eight Higher Education Ministers concerned.