2013. 01. 23.
This was the reason I started an initiative related to talent support in the European Parliament. On 23 January 2013 together with my colleague Mojca Kleva we hosted a high-level conference on talent support. Representatives of the European Commission, the presidency of the European High Ability Council, academics, experts and representatives of NGOs were participating on the event from various Member States. The participants were addressed by Dr Anneli Pauli, Deputy Director General of DG Research & Innovation on behalf of the European Commission who stated that talent support is a key measure for the sustainability of high level research and innovation in the EU. She argued that there is definite need to improve competitiveness in Europe and in this regard Europe needs talents as they are the heart of the future EU's research area.
"Support of European talent and creativity is not a luxury, but our life insurance" argued the Prof. Péter Csermely, President of the European Council of High Ability, founder of the network of Talent Points in Hungary and in neighbouring countries. These Talent Points serve the locals and are open for all just as a community house or sports club. Parents and teachers can receive guidance how to discover and treat talented children and young people. Furthermore, it is a space where the children themselves can meet each other and develop their skills through means of formal and non-formal education. The Professor outlined the efforts of European governments and NGOs to develop a European Talent Support Network. He claimed that "on one hand the talented people need the support of the society, but on the other hand the society needs the support of its talents as well".
The outcome of the conference proved that the role of talent support is underestimated both in Member States and on EU-level and there is an urgent need to develop a long-term European roadmap in this regard. Stakeholders on all levels should be involved in spreading the good practices and building partnerships and collaboration Europe-wide. Otherwise China and the US will progress much faster by developing acts and action plans in the field.
As a conclusion I can only highlight the importance of cooperation on national and international level in the field of talent support. Each European may hide a form of talent therefore any initiative helping professionals to discover and develop talents should be supported.
"Everyone may be able – in something. A talented person is somebody, who has an excellent gift combined with extraordinary general skills, a high level of special skills, creativity and devotion to a certain field. Talented people are able to perform at a high level in any walk of life regardless of age." – states the Budapest Declaration on Talent Support. This cornerstone document was endorsed on 8 April 2011 by representatives of 24 European countries during the Hungarian EU Presidential Conference on Talent Support.
This article was published in The Parliament Magazin (Issue 364, 4 March 2013).