In December 2003, after a consultation of national authorities and social partners, the European Commission introduced a proposal for a Decision of the European Parliament and of the Council for a single framework for the transparency of qualifications and competences  which rationalises several existing tools for the transparency of diplomas, certificates and competences.
This new EUROPASS came after a previous initiative called "Europass training" corresponding to a decision of the Council in December 1998 promoting European pathways for ¨work linked training, including apprenticeship¨, work placements abroad.
It is partly based on the work done by the European Forum on transparency of vocational qualifications bringing together social partners with representatives of national training authorities, which resulted in particular in the development of two documents (the European CV and the Certificate Supplement).
The new EUROPASS has a wider scope and includes three other documents corresponding to another European initiative developed around the same time:

  • The Diploma Supplement which was created jointly by the European Commission, the Council of Europe and UNESCO, to complement the degrees that higher education institutions throughout Europe and elsewhere award. It is a recommendation of the 1999 Bologna Declaration. The Ministers responsible for higher education in the Berlin Communiqué "set the objective that every student graduating as from 2005 should receive the Diploma supplement automatically and free of charge. It should be issued in a widely spoken European language. They asked the institutions and employers to make full use of the Diploma Supplement, so as to take advantage of the improved transparency and flexibility of the higher education systems, for fostering employability and facilitating academic recognition for further studies".
  • The Europass Language Portfolio, which was a follow-up version of the one developed by the Council of Europe in which citizens can record their language skills on the basis of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages.
  • The Europass Mobility that replaces the Europass Training.

And finally in 2002, the European Forum on the transparency of vocational qualifications was replaced by a technical working group, whose mandate, following what was stated by the Copenhagen Declaration was to develop "increasing transparency in vocational education and training through the implementation and rationalisation of information tools and networks, including the integration of existing instruments such as the European CV, Certificate and Diploma Supplements, the Common European Framework of reference for languages and the Europass into one single framework."
Read more about EUROPASS from CEDEFOP >