Each Member State is responsible for the organisation of its education and training systems and the content of teaching programmes. In accordance with Article 165 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU), the Union’s role is to contribute to the development of quality education by encouraging cooperation between Member States and, if necessary, by supporting and supplementing their action.
Policy cooperation among Member States and the EU institutions is based on the “strategic framework for European cooperation in education and training (ET2020)”, which is complemented by a number of funding programmes. The Lifelong Learning Programme supports exchanges, cooperation and mobility. It regroups four sub-programmes:
- Comenius (pre-school and school education);
- Erasmus (higher education);
- Leonardo da Vinci (vocational education and training);
- Grundtvig (adult education).
These sub-programmes are supplemented by the transversal programme, which aims to ensure that their results are of high quality, and the Jean Monnet programme, which aims to spread understanding on European integration worldwide.
The EU also encourages international cooperation through the Erasmus Mundus programme for higher education and the Tempus programme, which aims at modernising higher education in countries surrounding the EU.