The Declaration of Bologna, signed on 19th June 1999 by the education ministers of 29 states, highlights the need to promote the convergence of the higher education systems of various European states to make it easier for graduates to access a labour market without frontiers and to provide students from all over the world with a more attractive framework. Its aim is to develop a harmonious European Higher Education Area before 2010, the main axis of which is learning and which is respectful of the diversity of languages, cultures and education systems, and university autonomy.
To facilitate transparency between the various European qualifications and their recognition by both higher education institutions and employers, a structure has been proposed that is based on two fundamental levels: the first, the Bachelor’s degree of a minimum of three years, will be a qualification for the European labour market; the second will be the master’s or Doctoral degree. A diploma supplement will make the different systems of qualifications more understandable and comparable. A compatible credit system, based on the European Credit Transfer System (ECTS) will make it easy to recognise the level, education, quality and work done by a student from any state.