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Parliament gives green light to life long learning package

The European Parliament has adopted a programme for life long learning, Europe's first ever education and training package that will cover learning opportunities from childhood to old age.

With an estimated budget of ͂7 billion, the 'Life Long Learning' programme will ru...

Policy making and guidelines

The European Parliament has adopted a programme for life long learning, Europe's first ever education and training package that will cover learning opportunities from childhood to old age.

With an estimated budget of ͂7 billion, the 'Life Long Learning' programme will run from 2007 to2013 and will support projects and activities that foster interchange, cooperation and mobility between education and training systems across the EU.

The new programme will be built around four existing learning pillars: the Comenius programme for pre-school and school education; the Erasmus higher education programme; the Leonardo da Vinci programme for vocational education and training; and the Grundtvig programme which supports all forms of adult education. Together they will receive approximately ͂6.2 billion.

Linking these four pillars together will be a new 'transversal programme'. With a budget envelope of €369 million, it will focus on, among other tasks, ensuring policy cooperation and innovation in lifelong learning, and supporting the development of e-learning content and services. Finally, the package includes a new Jean Monnet programme that will use its budget of €170 million to support institutions and activities in the field of European integration.

Ján Figel', the European Commissioner for Education, Training, Culture, and Multilingualism, welcomed the Parliament's decision to endorse the programme, saying: 'It is a tangible, 'hands-on' result of policy cooperation in education and training between the Member States and the EU institutions.

'With it, it will be possible for individuals in schools, universities and companies across Europe, and in all stages of life, to pursue all manner of stimulating learning opportunities, by participating in Programme-funded projects. I am also pleased because it arrives 20 years after the flagship programme for university education, Erasmus, was launched in 1987, emphasising the continuity and effectiveness of Community action in the field of education,' said the Commissioner.