Brussels, 25 October 2006
The Commission welcomes the final step in the legislation process to adopt the ‘Lifelong Learning Programme’: on 25 October, the European Parliament adopted the Commission’s ambitious proposals for this new action programme in the field of education and training. For the first time, a single programme will cover learning opportunities from childhood to old age. The Lifelong Learning Programme will cover the period 2007-2013, and is the successor to the current Socrates, Leonardo da Vinci and eLearning programmes. It has a budget of € 7 bn to support projects and activities that foster interchange, cooperation and mobility between education and training systems within the EU, so that they become a world quality reference.
Ján Figel’, the European Commissioner for Education, Training, Culture, and Multilingualism, said, “Education and training are the cement that binds societies together in the face of economic and demographic change. I therefore welcome the decision of the European Parliament to join the Council in adopting the Lifelong Learning Programme. It is a tangible, ‘hands-on’ result of policy cooperation in education and training between the Member States and the EU institutions. With it, it will be possible for individuals in schools, universities and companies across Europe, and in all stages of life, to pursue all manner of stimulating learning opportunities, by participating in Programme-funded projects. I am also pleased because it arrives twenty years after the flagship programme for university education, Erasmus, was launched in 1987, emphasising the continuity and effectiveness of Community action in the field of education.”
The Lifelong Learning Programme is actually an over-arching structure that is built on four pillars, or sub-programmes. Grants and subsidies will be awarded to projects under each of these that enhance the trans-national mobility of individuals, promote bilateral and multilateral partnerships, or improve quality in education and training systems through multilateral projects encouraging innovation, for example. The four pillars are:
These four pillars are joined by what will be known as a ‘transversal programme’ (€ 369 million), which will pursue the following four key activities:
Finally, these actions will be complemented by the new Jean Monnet programme (€ 170 million), which supports institutions and activities in the field of European integration.
The implementation of the Lifelong Learning Programme has been allocated a budget of € 6 970 million for the period of the 7 years from 1 January 2007 to end December 2013.