In the context of globalization and the society of information, the free movement of the citizens has long been the declared objective of the European Union. Mobility is the main axis around which the knowledge-based Europe is being created. The concept of mobility is
a priority for upgrading the quality of education and training, by breaking new roads to communication, research and development.
Mobility: an International priority
During the Bologna Conference (1999) the foundations for the creation of a European space for Higher Education were laid down for the first ten-year period in the new millennium. The Bologna Declaration was signed with the aim to facilitate the overall convergence of education systems at a European level and the development of a credit transfer system that would enhance employability and mobility of European students. At a G8 Education Ministersí Meeting and Forum in Okinawa in Spring 2000, it was decided that the Ministries of the G8 Member States (USA, France, Germany, Japan, Italy, Canada, UK, Russia) should double mobility for their students, teachers, researchers and administrative staff of their respective Higher Education Institutions. Aiming to increase the mobility of students and teachers in Europe, the heads of state of the E.U. approved an action plan for mobility (42 specific measures) at a Nice Meeting in December 2000. The first measure was set in motion during the European Council in Stockholm (March 2001). At a Summit Meeting in Prague (May 2001), the Ministers of Education ratified efforts to expand mobility in Europe for students, educators, researchers and administrative staff. At the European Council (i.e. the heads of state and government of the Member States) in Lisbon in March 2002, the heads of state and government of the Member States decided the following overall goal for the Union,
ďÖto become the most competitive and dynamic knowledge-based economy in the world, capable of sustainable economic growth with more and better jobs and greater social
cohesionĒ. In this context, the role of mobility was acknowledged and new sets of programmes (2000-2006) were envisioned for attaining this goal. Furthermore, transparency in the recognition of diplomas, qualifications, and periods of study in the E.U. were considered contributing factors for greater cohesion.