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Education and training

The EU promotes access to quality basic education for all children, youth and adults. This global commitment was agreed upon through the international Education for All movement. In line with this, the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) of universal primary education and gender equality in education is a key priority of the EC’s development policy. In addition, specific focus lies on quality issues, vocational training and addressing inequalities.

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  EU High Level Conference on Education and Development, From Challenges to Opportunities, Brussels, 23rd May 2013

03/05/2013 – At the initiative of Commissioner Piebalgs, the EU is organising a high level conference on education in Brussels. Partner country representatives and development partners will debate the challenges, opportunities and future goals in education with the aim to ensure that education plays a prominent role in the post-2015 development framework.

Financial support

The EC utilizes various methods of aid delivery to support education in developing countries: a project approach, a sector approach and budget support. For the period 2007-2013, the EU's action in support of education is financed by means of two types of instruments:

Background information

In 2000, on the occasion of the World Education Forum in Dakar, the international community committed on the Dakar Framework for Action to achieve six goals for promoting “ Education for All”. In 2002, a Communication from the Commission presented a framework for the objectives, priorities and methods of the EC in the field of education and training in the context of poverty reduction.

In particular, the EU’s policy in this field promotes:

  • the consideration of the needs of the different educational levels, from primary to tertiary. Opportunities for collaboration between higher education institutions in developing countries and the EU exist under the education programmes Erasmus Mundus, Tempus and Edulink;
  • the development of pathways between formal and non-formal education and between education and training;
  • life-long learning.

Following the recent communication 'Towards an EU response to situations of fragility' pdf - 164 KB [164 KB] and in recognition of the major MDG challenges in states affected by crisis, the EC is actively involved in improving our engagement in the education sector in fragile situations. This has been done through various strategies: direct support to critical research, policy dialogue at country level with national stakeholders and development partners, and active participation in key working groups on fragility under the Inter Agency Network on Education in Emergencies (INEE).


Last update: 26/06/2014 | Top