EU LLP Objectives

Lifelong Learning programme - Erasmus actions

Lifelong Learning Programme

The following information from The European Commission website gives a general overview of the Lifelong Learning Programme (LLP) initiative of the European Union.


Objectives and description of the action

The Programme for Community Action in the Field of Lifelong Learning (the Lifelong Learning Programme – LLP) aims to contribute through lifelong learning to the development of the EU as an advanced knowledge society, with sustainable economic development, more and better jobs and greater social cohesion. In particular, it aims to foster interchange, co-operation and mobility between education and training institutions and systems within the EU so that they may become a world quality reference. In this way, it addresses the modernisation and adaptation of education and training systems in the participating countries, particularly in the context of the strategic Lisbon agenda goals, and brings European added value directly to individual citizens participating in its mobility and other co-operation actions.

The programme's specific objectives ensure that the LLP supports and supplements action taken by the Member States and other participating countries, while fully respecting their responsibility for the content of education and training systems and their cultural and linguistic diversity.
The LLP will run for seven years (2007-2013).

To foster interchange, cooperation and mobility between education and training systems within the Community so that they become a world quality reference.


  • To contribute to the development of quality Lifelong Learning, to promote high performance, innovation and a European dimension in systems and practices in the field.
  • To support the realisation of a European area for Lifelong Learning.
  • To help improve the quality, attractiveness and accessibility of the opportunities for Lifelong Learning available within Member States.
  • To reinforce the contribution of Lifelong Learning to social cohesion, active citizenship, intercultural dialogue, gender equality and personal fulfilment.
  • To promote creativity, competitiveness, employability and the growth of an entrepreneurial spirit.
  • To contribute to increased participation in Lifelong Learning by people of all ages, including those with special needs and disadvantaged groups regardless of their socio-economic background.
  • To promote language learning and linguistic diversity.
  • To support the development of innovative ICT-based content, services, pedagogies and practices for Lifelong Learning.
  • To reinforce the role of Lifelong Learning in creating a sense of European citizenship based on understanding and respect for human rights and democracy, and encouraging tolerance and respect for peoples and cultures.
  • To promote cooperation in quality assurance in all sectors of VET in Europe.
  • To encourage the best use of results, innovative products and processes and to exchange good practice in the field covered by the Lifelong Learning Programme, in order to improve the quality of education and training.

The programme should also contribute to furthering the horizontal policies of the EU, in particular by:

  • promoting an awareness of the importance of cultural and linguistic diversity within Europe, as well as of the need to combat racism, prejudice and xenophobia;
  • making provision for learners with special needs, and in particular by helping to promote their integration into mainstream education and training;
  • promoting equality between men and women and contributing to combating all forms of discrimination based on sex, racial or ethnic origin, religion or belief, disability, age or sexual orientation.

The Lifelong Learning Programme consists of:

  • four sectoral programmes focusing on school education (Comenius), higher education (Erasmus), vocational training (Leonardo da Vinci) and adult learning (Grundtvig) respectively;
  • a Transversal Programme targeted on cross-sectoral areas (policy cooperation and innovation in lifelong learning, languages, development of innovative ICT, dissemination and exploitation of results);
  • a programme to support teaching, research and reflection on European integration and key European institutions and associations (Jean Monnet Programme).

ERASMUS programme - Higher Education
Erasmus is the EU's education and training programme for mobility and cooperation in higher education across Europe. Its different actions not only address students wishing to study and work abroad, but also higher education teachers and enterprise staff intending to teach abroad and to higher education staff seeking training abroad. In addition, Erasmus supports higher education institutions to work together through intensive programmes, networks and multilateral projects as well as to reach out to the world of business.