Background

In the Bergen Communiqué of 2005, Ministers committed themselves to:

"...draw up national action plans to improve the quality of the process associated with the recognition of foreign qualifications. These plans will form part of each country’s national report for the next Ministerial Conference [in London in 2007].

On this background, the ENIC Bureau, the NARIC Advisory Board and the Bureau of the Lisbon Recognition Convention Committee have drawn up draft guidelines for the national reports and hereby submit the draft to the Bologna Follow Up Group."

Following up from Bergen, the London Communiqué of 2007 comments that:

"There has been progress in the implementation of the Lisbon Recognition Convention (LRC), ECTS and diploma supplements, but the range of national and institutional approaches to recognition needs to be more coherent. To improve recognition practices, we therefore ask the Bologna Follow-up Group (BFUG) to arrange for the ENIC/NARIC networks to analyse our national action plans and spread good practice."

It is clear, therefore, that much work has already been undertaken in relation to the development of NAP, which is demonstrated through the published Plans that appear on the Bologna Process website. Nevertheless, the variation displayed in the existing NAP highlights the need for further work which would contribute to greater coherence in the approach to developing and implementing the Plans. The 2008 Report to the Bologna Follow Up Group on the Analysis of the 2007 National Action Plans for Recognition, prepared by Andrejs Rauhvargers and Agnese Rusakova, echoes this opinion and also elaborates upon the areas for improvement and increased information provision.

Indeed from an analysis of the existing documents, it can be concluded that the extent to which national objectives have been formulated and realised varies significantly. This leads to the conclusion that recommendations relating to the formulation of objectives would increase the usefulness of the document and lead to a more coherent approach to recognition across the whole European Higher Education Area (EHEA).