EU and Education
One of the main targets in the Europe 2020 strategy, the EU's strategy for improved competitiveness, is to strengthen the educational sector and to remove obstacles to the mobility of researchers, teachers, pupils, students and apprentices.
The Europe 2020 strategy and its predecessor, the Lisbon Strategy, are in many ways milestones in the EU's commitment to education, but the European Union’s investment in education and mobility goes further back in time.
Norway has participated in the EU programmes since the early 1990s, and approximately 86 percent of the annual EEA membership fee is directed to financing the cooperation within research and education with the EU. Through the EEA agreement, Norway participates fully in the Lifelong Learning Programme (LLP). SIU is the Norwegian National Agency for the LLP.
Three decades of cooperation
From a slow and modest start in the early 1970s, EU collaboration in education became more concrete in the 1980s, when programmes aiming at mobility, networks and partnerships were established. Comett (university and enterprise cooperation) was the first programme established in 1986, followed by Erasmus in 1987. In the 1990s the programme portfolio was extended to include schools (Comenius) and vocational education and training (Leonardo da Vinci).
New challenges - new programme
The general objective of the LLP is to contribute through lifelong learning to the development of the Community as an advanced knowledge society, with sustainable economic development, more and better jobs and greater social cohesion, while ensuring good protection of the environment for future generations. In particular, it aims to foster interchange, co-operation and mobility between education and training systems within the Community so that they become a world quality reference.
The Lifelong Learning Programme is established to address the modernisation and adaptation of Member State education and training systems, particularly in the context of the strategic Europe 2020 goals, and brings European added value directly to individual citizens participating in its mobility and other co-operation actions.
The structure of the LLP is different from its predecessors. It takes the form of an integrated programme composed of four sectoral sub-programmes, a transversal programme targeted on cross-cutting areas, and a programme to support teaching, research and reflection around European integration and key European institutions, called the Jean Monnet programme.
The LLP supports and supplements action taken by Member States, while fully respecting their responsibility for the content of education and training systems and their cultural and linguistic diversity.
The Lifelong Learning Programme will run for 7 years (2007-2013). The total budget for this period is Euro 6 970 million.
Please note that individuals, institutions or organisations from an EU-country that are interested in engaging in LLP activities with Norway should contact the National Agency (NA) of their respective country. For more information on the programme and the various sectoral programmes, please see our web pages in Norwegian.