Programmes and Initiatives
For many years now, the European Community has been promoting the development of initiatives and programmes for training and education. The common objective of these programmes has been to encourage European cooperation while seeking to improve the quality of education and training systems and to promote transnational mobility via easier access of all, and better utilization of opportunities in education and training within the context of the European Union. These initiatives and programmes provide financial aid to a wide range of bodies, foundations and associations via which millions of people in more than 30 European states benefit.
Acknowledging the role of the programmes in improving the qualifications of participants and their prospects in finding work thereafter, the European Council and the European Parliament agreed to renew these programmes after 2000. Moreover, taking into account the new changing needs of our time, certain improvements were made relating to targets, simplification of planning, further decentralization of management, support for flexibility of programmes and links between them, as well as greater emphasis on life-long learning and the use of new technologies. As a result, a new generation of programmes and initiatives were approved for education (Socrates, Tempus, eLearning, Jean Monnet,
EU - Canada, EU - USA), for training (Leonardo Da Vinci) and for youth (Youth), under the supervision of the DG Education and Culture of the European Commission. Each Member State has appointed a national coordination unit that is responsible with implementing each programme and initiative at national level in the context of the common objectives that have been laid down by the European Commission.
In addition to the programmes and initiatives referred to above, actions for training and education at national level have also been developed in the context of the two Operational Programmes ôInitial and Continuing Vocational Trainingö and the ôInformation Societyö which are financed by the 3rd Community Support Framework.