The Bologna Follow-up Group (BFUG) oversees the Bologna Process between the ministerial meeting. The BFUG meetings play an important role in overseeing the implementation of the ministerial Communiqués as well as in developing the Bologna Process.
The Bologna Process, launched with the Bologna Declaration, of 1999, is nowadays implemented in 49 States, which define the European Higher Education Area (EHEA).
Every two or three years there are Ministerial Conferences organised in order to assess the progress made within the EHEA and to decide on the new steps to be taken. In order to ensure the implementation of the steps upon which the Ministers have decided, the EHEA makes use of several support structures:
The Bologna Follow-Up Group - BFUG - is the executive structure supporting the Bologna Process in-between the Ministerial Conferences. It is in place since autumn 1999. The BFUG is entrusted with:
"Ministers entrust the implementation of all the issues covered in the Communiqué, the overall steering of the Bologna Process and the preparation of the next ministerial meeting to a Follow-up Group.[...] A Board [...] shall oversee the work between the meetings of the Follow-up Group. [...] The overall follow-up work will be supported by a Secretariat which the country hosting the next ministerial Conference will provide."
Source: Berlin Communiqué, 19 September 2003.
The Rules of Procedure outline the structure of the BFUG and the way of operating in the 2018-2020 period.
The Italian BFUG Secretariat presented the draft BFUG Rules of Procedure and its annexes at the BFUG Meeting in Vienna (27-28 September 2018) where they were adopted by the BFUG.
BFUG membership is based on the membership of the European Higher Education Area (EHEA). The EHEA currently has three categories: member, consultative member and partner.
The current chairing arrangements foresee that the Bologna Process will be co-chaired by the country holding the EU presidency and a non-EU member country. Moreover, the host country of the next Ministerial conference is nominated as the Vice-Chair.
The BFUG meetings play an important role in overseeing the implementation of the ministerial Communiqués as well as in developing the Bologna Process. The BFUG meets at least once every six months, usually for one-and-a-half days.
BFUG meetings are in principle hosted by one of the EHEA Co-Chairs and are convened at least once every six months.
The BFUG has the possibility to set up working groups to deal with specific topics in more details and, also, receives input from Bologna Seminars.
Such as expressed in the Work Plan 2018-2020 all Groups within the Work Plan are open to participation from BFUG members, experts nominated by national authorities, consultative members and international experts proposed by the group.
The BFUG decides on the Terms of References of different Groups and decides which of the recommendations of those Groups will be proposed to the Ministers. If it deems necessary, the BFUG may also provide an opportunity for all members and consultative members to express their views on the recommendations and reports.
The work between two meetings of the Bologna Follow-up Group is overseen by a Board.
The BFUG board is an advisory committee for the Chairs and the Secretariat to prepare the BFUG meetings. The responsibilities of the Board were defined by the BFUG during its meeting in Rome on 14 November 2003. It also deals with different Groups, since one co-chair of each of them is member of the BFUG board meetings.
The current members of the Board are:
The Co-Chairs and Vice-Chair of the BFUG are the same for the Board.
The Board usually meets at least one month (preferably six weeks) before each BFUG meeting. The host of the Board is normally one of the EHEA Co-Chairs.