EU countries are responsible for their own education and training systems, but the EU helps them set joint goals and share good practices.
The new Erasmus+, programme is designed to tackle youth unemployment by improving young people's skills and employability.
The EU Youth Strategy promotes equal opportunities in education and employment for young people and encourages them to play an active part in society.
Europass is a set of documents to help applicants present their skills and qualifications in a standard Europe-wide format. This enables employers to understand foreign qualifications and helps workers apply for jobs abroad.
The European Qualifications Framework makes it easier to compare different national qualifications by linking examinations and education levels to a common reference framework. It is designed to help Europeans study and work abroad.
Through the Copenhagen Process, European countries (including all EU countries), trade unions and employers cooperate to improve vocational and educational training. One result is the European credit system and quality-assurance network, which help people work and study abroad.
The purpose of the Bologna process and the European Higher Education Area is to make it easier to move between education systems within Europe, by promoting mutual recognition of periods of study, comparable qualifications and uniform quality standards.
The EIT's remit is to enable Europe's top higher education institutions, research centres and businesses to cooperate on major social challenges.
The Marie Skłodowska-Curie scheme supports career development and training for researchers in all scientific disciplines, especially by helping them study and work in different countries and sectors.
Manuscript updated in November 2014
This publication is part of the 'European Union explained' series