(Brussels) Commissioner for Education, Culture and Youth, Tibor Navracsics, is in Belgrade today to open the annual ministerial meeting of the “Western Balkans Platform on Education and Training”. The Ministers of Education of the Balkans will “review the state of educational system in their countries, learn about the latest EU initiatives – a statement explains -, identify priorities, agree on follow-up to studies and reports and deeper cooperation”. This year, discussions will focus on early childhood education and care. “Since 2015 the Erasmus+ programme has supported 27,000 student and staff exchanges in higher education to and from the Western Balkans”, Commissioner Navracsics said. “That is why I am very pleased that we will be discussing early childhood education and care which lays the foundations for children’s development and their later success in life – and can play a role in building fairer, more resilient societies”. The Platform’s longer-term perspective is to assist the Western Balkans with their “reform efforts and prepare them for EU membership responsibilities including full participation in the EU’s education programmes”.