The Bologna process, launched by the Bologna Declaration (1999) and evaluated every three years at ministerial conferences, aims to establish a more comparable, compatible and coherent system for European higher education. The organisation of the process was decided by EU ministers in September 1999 and the monitoring group established a work programme in November 1999. Joint Statement by European Education Ministers – The Bologna Declaration of 19 June 1999. A ministerial conference is held every two years to bring together higher education ministers from all participating countries to assess progress and set guidelines and priorities for the coming period. The last conference was held in 2009 in Louvain-la-Neuve. Previous conferences have been held in London in May (2007), Bergen (2005), Berlin (2003), Prague (2001) and Bologna (1999) in London. The Bologna Declaration (full joint declaration of the European education ministers convened in Bologna on 19 June 1999) is the main guiding document of the Bologna process. It was adopted by education ministers from 29 European countries at their meeting in Bologna in 1999. What is the Bologna process? How is the process organized? How did it all start? 1999 Prague 2001 Berlin 2003 Bergen 2005 London 2007 Leuven-Newfoundland 2009 Council of Europe Who is involved in the process? The process officially began in 1999 with the signing of the Bologna Declaration. Twenty-nine countries signed the declaration on 19 June 1999 in Bologna (hence the name of the whole process).
The objectives of the Sorbonne Declaration were confirmed in 1999 by the Bologna Declaration, in which 29 countries declared themselves ready to work towards improving the competitiveness of the European Higher Education Area, stressing the need to promote the independence and autonomy of all higher education institutions. All the provisions of the Bologna Declaration were defined as voluntary harmonization measures and not as clauses of a binding treaty. The Bologna process aims to strengthen the coherence of higher education systems throughout Europe.