First joint declaration of the European Ministers of Education took place in 19th of June 1999. Initial document (1999) signed by the Ministers of; Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Bulgaria, Estonia, Denmark, France, Finland, Germany, Hungary, Greece, Ireland, Iceland, Latvia, Italy, Luxembourg, Lithuania, Netherlands, Malta, Poland, Norway, Romania, Portugal, Slovenia, Slovak Republic, Sweden, Spain, United Kingdom, Swiss Confederation.
Presidency and coordination is undertaken by the current state presiding over the European Parliament and a non-European Union state (as of 2011, Poland and Armenia).
The Bologna Process is an agreement between the states’ governments and not the European Union, as commonly mistaken, thus it does not have as an agreement the legitimacy and binding properties of EU agreements.
General Aims and Purpose
Its purpose is to increase the international competitiveness of the European higher education and to create a European Higher Education Area by 2010. This is to be performed by setting a number of aims to be completed by each signatory Minister of Education from each respective state.
The aims are:
* Adoption of a system of easily readable and comparable degrees, also through the implementation of the Diploma Supplement, in order to promote European citizens employability and the international competitiveness of the European higher education system
* Adoption of a system essentially based on two main cycles, undergraduate and graduate. Access to the second cycle shall require successful completion of first cycle studies, lasting a minimum of three years. The degree awarded after the first cycle shall also be relevant to the European labour market as an appropriate level of qualification. The second cycle should lead to the master and/or doctorate degree as in many European countries.
* Establishment of a system of credits - such as in the ECTS system () - as a proper means of promoting the most widespread student mobility. Credits could also be acquired in non-higher education contexts, including lifelong learning, provided they are recognised by receiving Universities concerned.
* Promotion of mobility by overcoming obstacles to the effective exercise of free movement with particular attention to student’s access to study and training opportunities and to related services and for teachers, researchers and administrative staff, recognition and valorisation of periods spent in a European context researching, teaching and training, without prejudicing their statutory rights.
* Promotion of European co-operation in quality assurance with a view to developing comparable criteria and methodologies.
* Promotion of the necessary European dimensions in higher education, particularly with regards to curricular development, interinstitutional co-operation, mobility schemes and integrated programmes of study, training and research.
Prague 2001. "Furthering the Bologna Process" report.
New members Croatia, Cyprus and Turkey were accepted and would begin participating in the programs Socrates, Leonardo Da Vinci and Tempus-Cards.
In Prague, the ministers sought to take the aims set by the initial report in Bologna one step further, by clarifying and explaining further the procedures.
* Adoption of a system of easily readable and comparable degrees; Ministers called upon existing organizations NARIC and ENIC (National Academic Recognition Information Centres and European Network of Information Centres) to promote at a national and European level, clear, simple and efficient recognition of degrees.
* Adoption of a system essentially based on two main cycles; Ministers noted on positive progress to this aim, as many systems had incorporated the two cycle program (bachelor and master's degree), while most other states were progressing.
* Establishment of a system of credits; Again ministers stressed...