What is the European Commission doing in the field of Education and Training ?

In the 1950s, one major tenet of the EU founding fathers’ credo in a reconciled
Europe was the role of democratic values, together with
a restored prosperity in securing peace between nations. Both require
education. Democratic values are not innate and they must be acquired
through education both inside the community and in the more formal setting of
schools. Education is also a precondition for sustainable and inclusive growth, especially
at a time where prosperity has increasingly become dependent on the intellectual
vigour and resources of a knowledge-based society. The prerequisites for
both citizenship and knowledge are the quality and inclusiveness of educational
systems throughout the European Union.

In this context, the Lifelong Learning programmes of the European Commission,
managed by the Directorate-General for Education & Culture have resources, political
momentum and visibility, which reflect such commitments. The response from European
society, as evidenced by the enormous successof the Erasmus programme, has confirmed
that the guiding inspiration of Lifelong Learning is the right one. The Lifelong Learning programme
funds a range of actions, including exchanges, study visits and networking activities. Projects are
intended not only for individual students and learners, but also for teachers, trainers and all others
involved in education and training. With a budget of nearly EUR 7 billion for the period
2007-13, the Lifelong Learning programmes have four headings that fund projects
at different levels of education and training: Comenius for schools, Erasmus for higher
education, Leonardo da Vinci for vocational education and training, and Grundtvig
for adult education. Other projects in areas that are relevant to all levels of education,
such as language learning, information and communication technologies,

policy co-operation and dissemination and exploitation of project results are funded
through the ‘transversal’ part of the programme, which also host the specific calls
for proposals ‘explicitly but not exclusively targeting’ Roma communities. However,
any proposals submitted in the more general strands of the Lifelong Learning programmes
(mainly Comenius, Leonardo da Vinci and Grundtvig) offer great potential
for Roma-oriented proposals for project funding, as they address the most disadvantaged
groups in society.

Source: Roma and Education: Challenges and Opportunities in the European Union

© European Union, 2012


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