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In accordance with the principle of subsidiary, education and training fall within the sole responsibility of the Member States. However, at the European level, ministers of education may coordinate national education policies. European education policy plays an important role in job creation and job retention, promotes economic growth through the improvement of basic and advanced education and training, and helps Member States shape their national policies through an exchange of experience.

Priority tasks of the common education and training policy are focused on improving the quality and effectiveness of, and accessibility to, European education and training systems and opening up education and training to the wider world.

The overall objective is to improve the transparency of education systems in every Member State as a basic condition for increasing mobility in education and the labour market. Through the Bologna Process the Member States of the European Union, as well as other European countries, aim to create a common European area for higher education by 2010.

The removal of barriers hindering access to study programmes and the development of a system for comparing qualifications should increase mobility between higher education institutions in Europe. The Bruges-Copenhagen Process, as the acknowledged instrument for vocational education, supports the idea of transparent and comparable qualifications in vocational education and training. Both processes, including the detailed plan of how to implement concrete objectives of education and training, constitute a programme known as “Education and Training 2010”. The European Union is earmarking budgetary funds for educational exchange between Member States within the unified programme “Lifelong Learning”, whereas for the implementation of measures relating to the development of human resources Member States also have financial resources from Structural Funds at their disposal.


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Date: 11.01.2008