On 8 November, Minister Ben Weyts, together with his fellow ministers responsible for higher education in the Benelux countries, and with their counterparts from the Baltic States of Latvia, Estonia and Lithuania, signed the Declaration of Intent on automatic mutual recognition of higher education diplomas. The signing took place in the margins of the Council of Education Ministers of the European Union in Brussels.
The Benelux countries and the Baltic States already automatically recognize the diplomas of other Member States within their respective cooperation and therefore are pioneers within the European Union. With this political statement, the ministers want to build a bridge between the two regional partnerships in order to give an impetus to the creation of a European Higher Education Area.
The signed declaration of intent reflects the confidence that the Benelux countries and the Baltic States have in the quality and controls of the higher education systems of the other countries involved.
The countries will now prepare a multilateral treaty that also will allow other countries or regions to accede at a later date.