Lisbon Recognition Convention

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  • Long name: Convention on the Recognition of Qualifications concerning Higher Education in the European Region
  • Signed: 11 April 1997
  • Location signed: Lisbon, Portugal
  • Effective: 1 February 1999
  • Condition: Ratifications including 3 member States of the Council of Europe and/or the UNESCO Europe Region.
  • Parties: 53 (all Council of Europe member states, except Monaco and Greece), as well as Australia, Belarus, Holy See, Israel, Kazakhstan, Kyrghyz Republic, New Zealand and Tajikistan
  • Depositary: Secretary General of the Council of Europe and Director-General of UNESCO
  • Languages: English and French

The Lisbon Recognition Convention, officially the Convention on the Recognition of Qualifications concerning Higher Education in the European Region is an international convention of the Council of Europe elaborated together with the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). As of 2012, the Convention has been ratified by all 47 member states of the Council of Europe in Strasbourg except for Greece and Monaco. It has also been ratified by the Council of Europe non-member states Australia, Belarus, the Holy See, Israel, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and New Zealand. Canada, Tajikistan and the USA have signed but not ratified the Convention.


The Convention stipulates that degrees and periods of study must be recognised unless substantial differences can be proved by the institution that is charged with recognition. Students and graduates are guaranteed fair procedures under the Convention. It is named after Lisbon, Portugal, where it was signed in 1997, and entered into force on 1 February 1999 (or later in some countries, subject to ratification date).

Convention bodies

The Convention established two bodies which oversee, promote and facilitate the implementation of the Convention:

  1. the Committee of the Convention on the Recognition of Qualifications concerning Higher Education in the European Region, and
  2. the European Network of Information Centres on Academic Mobility and Recognition (the ENIC Network).

The Committee is responsible for promoting the application of the Convention and overseeing its implementation. To this end, it can adopt, by a majority of the Signatory Parties, recommendations, declarations, protocols and models of good practice to guide the competent authorities of the Parties. Before making its decisions, the Committee seeks the opinion of the ENIC Network. As for the ENIC Network, it upholds and assists the practical implementation of the Convention by the competent national authorities.

Bologna Process

The Lisbon Recognition Convention is an important instrument for the Bologna Process which aims at creating the "European Higher Education Area" by making academic degree standards and quality assurance standards more comparable and compatible throughout Europe.

See also

  • ENIC Network - The UNESCO/Council of Europe network established within the framework of the Lisbon Recognition Convention
  • NARIC Network - The network of recognition bodies established by the European Commission

External links