In the 1950s, one major tenet of the EU founding fathers’ credo in a reconciled Europe was the role of democratic values, together with a restored prosperity in securing peace between nations. Both require education. Democratic values are not innate and they must be acquired through education both inside the community and in the more formal setting of schools. Education is also a precondition for sustainable and inclusive growth, especially at a time where prosperity has increasingly become dependent on the intellectual vigour and resources of a knowledge-based society. The prerequisites for both citizenship and knowledge are the quality and inclusiveness of educational systems throughout the European Union.

In this context, the Lifelong Learning programmes of the European Commission, managed by the Directorate-General for Education & Culture have resources, political momentum and visibility, which reflect such commitments. The response from European society, as evidenced by the enormous successof the Erasmus programme, has confirmed that the guiding inspiration of Lifelong Learning is the right one. The Lifelong Learning programme funds a range of actions, including exchanges, study visits and networking activities. Projects are intended not only for individual students and learners, but also for teachers, trainers and all others involved in education and training. With a budget of nearly EUR 7 billion for the period 2007-13, the Lifelong Learning programmes have four headings that fund projects at different levels of education and training: Comenius for schools, Erasmus for higher education, Leonardo da Vinci for vocational education and training, and Grundtvig for adult education. Other projects in areas that are relevant to all levels of education, such as language learning, information and communication technologies,

Policy co-operation and dissemination and exploitation of project results are funded through the ‘transversal’ part of the programme, which also host the specific calls for proposals ‘explicitly but not exclusively targeting’ Roma communities. However, any proposals submitted in the more general strands of the Lifelong Learning programmes (mainly Comenius, Leonardo da Vinci and Grundtvig) offer great potential for Roma-oriented proposals for project funding, as they address the most disadvantaged groups in society.

Source: Roma and Education: Challenges and Opportunities in the European Union

© European Union, 2012

lifelong learning

This project is co-funded by the European Commission. This publication reflects the views of the author only and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use of the information contained therein.


Supported by the DI-XL project related with the dissemination and exploitation of LLP results through libraries

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