EACEA: the cultural catalyst of the European Union
What is EACEA?
The Education, Audiovisual and Culture Executive Agency (EACEA) was called into life on 1st January, 2006 with the aim of implementing a number of strands of more than 15 Community funded programmes and actions in the fields of education and training, active citizenship, youth issues, the audiovisual area and culture. The agency that is located in Brussels and operates under the auspices of the European Commission reports to four Directorates-General of the European Commission: Education and Culture (EAC), Migration and Home Affairs (HOME), Communication Networks, Content and Technology (CNECT) and Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection (ECHO).
The agency is in charge of most management aspects of the programmes, including drawing up calls for proposals, selecting projects and signing project agreements, financial management, monitoring of projects, communication with beneficiaries, and on-the-spot controls.
Programmes supported by the EACEA
The executive agency is responsible for 5 main project areas. Amongst these, the most important is Erasmus+, which deals with initiatives belonging to the education and training, youth and sport categories within the timeframe of 2014-2020. The programmes offer an opportunityto students, interns, educational staff and volunteers to spend a certain period of time abroad, thereby gaining new skills and increasing their employability.
Moreover, Erasmus+ supports organisations to help them work in international partnerships and share innovative practices in the fields of education, training and youth. One of the most popular projects that operates within the frames of Erasmus+ is the Erasmus education and internship mobility programme as well as the European Voluntary Service that celebrated its 20th birthday this year and through which young people between the ages of 18-30 can join the activities of non-governmental organisations abroad.
Amongst the less well-known projects of the EACEA is the brand new EU Aid Volunteers initiative, whose goals largely coincide with those of the European Voluntary Service, with the exception that this one only sends volunteers to non-EU countries. The trial phase of the programme, which was launched in 2016 has recently come to an end, and at the moment, the agency is working on the evaluation of the experience of the 100 volunteers participating so far, in order to make the programme available to a wider audience. Moreover, an important tool is provided by the Eurydice network that aims to provide information about educational systems and principles through its 42 units operating in 38 countries.
You and the EACEA
Has the activity of the agency raised your interest? Would you like to contribute to their work? Then you will be happy to hear that the European Commission offers various traineeship positions twice a year, through which you can even join the activities of the EACEA. Although applications for the period starting on 1st October have closed, during the summer, you can apply to start your internship on 1st March, 2018 to spend 5 months in the office of the EACEA in Brussels. You do not have to do anything else but fill out an application form here () and hope to be amongst the lucky 700 people selected.
Picture: Wendy Harman Flickr