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EU Neighbouring Countries

What is it about?

16 countries border the EU to the east and south. The EU is working to promote education, training, youth and culture as a way to building stronger connections and mutual understanding between EU citizens and citizens of these neighbouring countries.

There are currently two main partnerships in place to achieve these aims. The Eastern Partnership covers Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine. The Southern Partnership covers Algeria, Egypt, Israel, Jordon, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, Occupied Palestinian Territory, Syria and Tunisia.

What has been done so far?

The Eastern Partnership has established four policy platforms. The fourth of these – Contacts between people – involves the fields of education, training, research, youth, culture, media and information society. The members of this platform meet twice a year and each meeting highlights a specific topic. They have released two work programmes so far: work programme 2009-11pdf Choose translations of the previous link  and work programme 2012-2013pdf Choose translations of the previous link  .

The Eastern Partnership meeting in 2013 covered the next generation of EU programmes (2014-2020) in the different policy areas covered by platform 4, such as Erasmus+ for education and youth, Creative Europe for culture and media and Horizon 2020 for research. An Information Day on the Erasmus+ programmepdf Choose translations of the previous link  was also organised for the Eastern Partnership countries.

In the Southern Partnership, the Commission proposed a partnership for democracy and shared prosperity with the Southern Mediterranean in 2011. Through this and other similar communications, the Commission committed itself to supporting the modernisation of higher education systems, and increasing the teaching and learning mobility of students, teachers, university staff and young people in the Southern Mediterranean countries.

In 2012, the EU’s Directorate General of Education and Culture launched a dialogue with Southern Mediterranean countries on higher education and organised an Information Day on the Erasmus+ programme for these countries.


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