Joint European Union/Council of Europe Project

Regional Support for Inclusive Education in South East Europe

The Joint EU-CoE Project "Regional Support for Inclusive Education" concluded its 3-year journey in Sarajevo where the project's final conference took place on 5 and 6 November 2015.

The conference was hosted by the Ministry of Civil Affairs of Bosnia and Herzegovina, and was organised within the framework of Bosnia and Herzegovina’s Chairmanship of the Council of Europe’s Committee of Ministers. The event took place in the Parliament building and brought together members of the TeacherNet, SchoolNet and PolicyNet from seven beneficiaries in South East Europe, as well as regional and international experts and educationalists. The objectives of the conference were to highlight the stakeholders’ achievements towards inclusive education and to outline and promote the regional policy recommendations upon which action plans were developed.

The 3-year project was implemented in seven beneficiaries of the South East Europe region – Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Montenegro, Serbia, “the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia” and Kosovo*.  The project aimed to enhance social inclusion and cohesion in the region by promoting the concept of inclusive education as a reform principle promoting diversity, in line with the beneficiaries’ commitments to Council of Europe standards and EU accession.

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Societies work best when all its members are fully included

Societies, like businesses, function best when all resources are fully used and inclusive education is the only mechanism available that ensures all human resources to be fully used for the sake of the whole society, said Sophie Beaumont, Task Manager for Education and Gender issues at the Delegation of the European Union in Skopje, during the second regional PolicyNet meeting that took place in Skopje on 27-28 May 2015.

The goals of the meeting for the members of the PolicyNet were to endorse the Regional Policy Recommendations on inclusive education by the PolicyNet and to develop action plans for inclusive education at the Beneficiary level. During the meeting, members also signed a pledge to advocate the implementation of the policy recommendations on inclusive education in their national policies and systems.

“This pledge is only a very small part of what we are trying to achieve through our project, but at the same time it is an important symbol of dedication and a symbol of the need for a truly comprehensive approach in creating inclusive school environments”, said Vesna Atanasova, Senior Project Officer for the Joint EU/CoE Regional Support for Inclusive education project.  

Seven workshops in each of the seven Beneficiaries covered by the project were organised as a final evaluation for Regional Policy Recommendations by all actors involved in their creation. Teachers, principals, schools and parents, representatives of education ministries, state education inspectorates and other institutions and agencies took part in a fully participatory process for drafting these recommendations.

With the regional PolicyNet meeting in Skopje, the endorsement process concludes, and the recommendation will now be submitted to beneficiary-level policy makers, who should translate them into policy actions. For this to be achieved, members of the PolicyNet developed beneficiary-level action plans which will facilitate the process of advocating and adopting these recommendations. 

The Policy Recommendations include measures for increased schools’ capacity, improved teacher competences and for developing mechanisms for monitoring and supporting the inclusive process. Methods of redefining enrolment policies and improved inter-institutional cooperation are also part of the recommendations. The goal of these recommendations is to stimulate the creation of more inclusive school environments in the South Eastern Europe region.

Inclusive School Net


A good school is an inclusive school

A special radio show on education called Out of the box on Croatian radio HRT was dedicated to inclusive education in Croatia and in the South Eastern Europe region. The show also covered the Conference Inclusive Education in Practice in Zagreb, 28-29 October 2014.

Interviews with Tatjana Vuçani and Snežana Vuković

16-18 October 2014
Improved communication and greater co-operation in the South East Europe region is essential for identifying appropriate tools and mechanisms needed for promoting truly inclusive education. At least that is the shared impression of Snežana Vuković, head of the department for strategy and...

Study visit brings best inclusion practice

‘Schools should adjust to children and not children to schools'. This is the clear message from the EU member states, according to participants from South East Europe speaking about their first study trip to the Grand Region. "This study trip brought knowledge, and knowledge makes us understand the world", said Azra Kardović, from the Montenegrin Primary school "Mustafa Pećanin" in Rožaje.

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