The Europass – What is it really?
The Europass is not (although it might sound like it) a residence, travel or work permit; it has nothing to do with travelling, living or working in the European Union. It is not a document you need to hand in to get a working permit or a residence permit, nor is it a document for acknowledging your qualifications or vocational training.
Thus, the name is quite irritating, although the idea behind the Europass is promising. It is a service to facilitate communication of your skills, qualifications, education and other job application documents. It should provide a platform to facilitate comparison of skills, different university degrees and other qualifications.
Education and training authorities can define and communicate their curricula content, citizens can use predefined forms for e.g. their CVs, language skills.
If done and used by a majority this would enable employers to understand the skills and qualifications of their workforce more easily and comparison would be facilitated and job application rounds in the EU could become fairer and more transparent.
Additionally, it is possible to ask for the “Europass Mobility” document, which records knowledge and skills in other European countries, for the “Certificate Supplement”, which describes the knowledge and skills acquired and is based on your education and training certificates. Further, the “Diploma Certificate” is issued on basis of your knowledge and skills acquired by holders of higher education degrees.
However, these are lot of “ifs”, “cans” and “woulds”. The Europass has still some flaws: it is a platform providing several documents and forms, however they are still to be filled in by the persons themselves and no one has to fill them in. There are no real guidelines to fill in the Language passport or the CV, which makes comparison subjective and not really easier than comparing two different CVs.
It is questionable to what extent the Europass meets its objectives at the moment and how useful it is at the moment. However, it is a good idea and hopefully in some years comparison of skills, qualifications as well as of academic and vocational training is fair and easier throughout Europe. To achieve this, however, we need some musts and guidelines and really comparable documents and grade scales.