Education, training and languages


The EU context

The concept of “Lifelong Learning” is at the heart of the educational programmes of the European Union and its Member States. Education and training are both drivers of employment and mobility. They represent major challenges for Europe, and thus figure as priorities in the policies of the European Union, notably through the Strategic framework for European cooperation in education and training ("ET 2020"), included in the main thematic priority for the structural funds for the 2014-2020 period “investing in education, skills and lifelong learning”.

The concept of lifelong learning applies to all levels of education and training and all stages of life, as well as different types of learning. The concept is closely linked to the knowledge economy and competitiveness because it involves providing citizens “with tools for personal development, social integration and participation in the knowledge economy.” Several European measures and programmes aim to help beneficiaries achieve these goals.

The European institutions support national reforms, the modernisation of higher education and the development of common European tools(1) for promoting the quality of education, the transparency of qualifications, and mobility between countries.

The practical implementation of the mobility of citizens and the improvement of education and training systems are major issues in cross-border areas.


  1. Notably the Europass, but also the European Credit system for Vocational Education and Training (ECVET) and the European Credit Transfer and accumulation System (ECTS).


Photo: University of the Greater Region – Copyright: EU Regional Policy