The policy for Lifelong Learning (LLL) is, in recent years, in the heart of the economic and social development policies. Education and training constitute an integral part of the overall effort to address the global economic recession. In the EU, knowledge is the key to building the future and it constitutes a deterministic component of the triptych vision of the new development strategy of "Europe 2020" for smart, sustainable and inclusive growth. Four out of the ten integrated EU guidelines in the sectors of the economy and employment, for the implementation of the new Strategy, on which any recommendations from the Council to the member states will be based, are directly applicable to Lifelong Learning.
The EU in order to give its citizens the opportunity to participate in Lifelong Learning has established the Erasmus+ Programme (Regulation of the European Parliament and Council No. 1288/2013 dated 11.12.2013). The Erasmus+ brings together all the EU and international schemes for education, training, youth and sport, replacing seven programmes (European Lifelong Learning Programme, Youth in Action, Erasmus Mundus, Tempus, Alfa, Edulink and the programme for cooperation with industrialised countries) with one.
For the implementation of Erasmus+ in Cyprus, the Government has designated two National Agencies: the Foundation for the Management of European Lifelong Learning Programmes, which is responsible for the education and training sectors, and the Youth Board of Cyprus which is responsible for the youth sector. The Directorate General for European Programmes, Coordination and Development (DG EPCD) was appointed, by Decision of the Council of Ministers, as National Authority for the implementation of Erasmus+ in Cyprus and participates in the relevant Committee of the Directorate General for Education and Culture of the European Commission.
Additionally, the DG EPCD in cooperation with the Ministry of Education and Culture (MOEC), the Ministry of Labour, Welfare and Social Insurance (MLWSI), the Human Resource Development Authority (HRDA) and the Cyprus Productivity Center (CPC) has prepared the National Lifelong Learning Strategy for the period 2014-2020. The Strategy was sent to the involved social partners for comments and their views have been incorporated in it. The Council of Ministers in its meeting held on 18.06.2014 approved the Strategy.
The strategy contributes to the future development of the country, as well as to the implementation of the common European objectives in education and training.
Finally, it is noted that the existence of a National LLL Strategy is ex ante conditionality for the promotion and implementation of actions co-financed by the European Social Fund during the programming period 2014-2020.
The implementation of the National Lifelong Learning Strategy 2014-2020 is promoted through measures classified under the following four priority axes:
- Promoting Access and Participation in Lifelong Learning for All and recognition of learning outcomes,
- Improving the quality and efficiency of education and training,
- Promoting Research and Development for the Support of Lifelong Learning,
- Promoting employability (promoting integration/reintegration into the labour market).
For more information visit the website of the European Commission on the Erasmus+ Programme, as well as the common website of the National Services.
Youth Board of Cyprus