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european program




The objective of the action programme in the field of lifelong learning is to develop and foster interchange, cooperation and mobility, so that education and training systems become a world quality reference in accordance with the Lisbon strategy. It thus contributes to the development of the Community as an advanced knowledge-based society, with sustainable economic development, more and better jobs and greater social cohesion.

Participation in the programme is open not just to the Member States, but also to the EFTA (European Free Trade Association) countries that are members of the European Economic Area (Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway), to the Swiss Confederation and to the EU candidate and potential candidate countries of the western Balkans in accordance with the rules and agreements governing their participation in Community programmes.

The beneficiaries of the programme are:

  • pupils, students, trainees and adult learners;
  • all categories of education personnel;
  • people in the labour market;
  • institutions and organisations providing learning opportunities within the programme;
  • persons and bodies responsible for systems and policies at local, regional and national level;
  • enterprises, social partners and their organisations at all levels, including trade organisations and chambers of commerce and industry;
  • bodies providing guidance, counselling and information services;
  • participants’, parents’ and teachers’ associations;
  • research centres and bodies;
  • non-profit organisations, voluntary bodies, non-governmental organisations (NGOs).


The action programme is divided into six sub-programmes, four of which are sectoral. They are all structured in the same way and address the teaching and learning needs of all participants, as well as of the institutions and organisations providing or facilitating education and training in each respective sector. All the actions incorporate mobility, language and new technology.


The programme covers pre-school and school education up to the end of upper secondary education, as well as the institutions and organisations providing such education.


The Erasmus programme addresses formal higher education and vocational education and training at tertiary level, whatever the length of the course or qualification may be and including doctoral studies. Unlike the previous programmes, vocational education and training at tertiary level now falls under Erasmus instead of Leonardo da Vinci.

  • good practices;
  • multilateral networks, such as “Erasmus thematic networks” run by consortia of higher education institutions and representing a discipline or a cross-disciplinary field;
  • accompanying measures.

Leonardo da Vinci

The Leonardo da Vinci programme addresses vocational education and training other than that at tertiary level.

Its specific objectives are to:

  • support participants in training to acquire and use knowledge, skills and qualifications to facilitate personal development, employability and participation in the European labour market;
  • improve quality and innovation;
  • enhance the attractiveness of vocational education and training and mobility.

To this end, the programme pursues operational objectives that seek to develop and strengthen:

  • mobility (including quality) in this field and that of continuous training, including placements in enterprises, so that they number 80 000 per year by the end of the programme;
  • the volume of cooperation (including quality) between the different actors;
  • innovative practices and their transfer between countries;
  • the transparency and recognition of qualifications and competences, including those acquired through non-formal and informal learning;
  • language learning;
  • innovative ICT-based content, services, pedagogies and practices.


The Grundtvig programme addresses all forms of adult education.

It aims to:

  • respond to the educational challenge of an ageing population in Europe;
  • help provide adults with pathways to improving their knowledge and competences.

The transversal programme

The transversal programme mainly addresses activities that extend beyond the limits of the sectoral programmes.

The specific objectives are to:

  • promote European cooperation in fields covering two or more sectoral programmes;
  • promote the quality and transparency of Member States’ education and training systems.

The programme actions apply to the key activities in the transversal programme. For example, under the key activity entitled “policy cooperation and innovation”, the actions may deal in particular with supporting the observation and analysis of policies and systems such as the Eurydice network or the transparency of qualifications and competences, information and guidance for mobility purposes and cooperation in quality assurance such as Euroguidance, and National Academic Recognition Information Centres (NARIC), Ploteus or the Europass initiative.

The Jean Monnet programme:

The Jean Monnet programme targets specific issues of European integration in the academic world and the support needed for institutions and associations active in education and training at European level.

The specific objectives are to:

  • stimulate teaching, research and reflection activities in the field of European integration studies;
  • support an appropriate range of institutions and associations focusing on issues relating to European integration and on education and training from a European perspective.

Its operational objectives are therefore to stimulate excellence, enhance knowledge and awareness of European integration, as well as support European institutions working on European integration and high-quality European institutions and associations.

The actions cover unilateral and national projects, such as Jean Monnet chairs, centres of excellence and teaching modules or support young researchers, as well as multilateral projects and networks.


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