Here you can find out more information and details about the variety and spectrum of important EU programmes concerning higher education and training, the promotion of lifelong learning, existing frameworks to promote collaborative research, networking and dissemination, support actions for transnational coordination of national research activities etc. Many of these initiatives are not only limited to EU Member States but are also open for co-operation activities with partners in Eastern Europe, Central Asia or other regions of the world.

Horizon 2020

Horizon 2020 is the current EU Framework Programme for Research and Innovation. It will run from 2014 to 2020 with an €80 billion budget. Horizon 2020 provides major simplification through a single set of rules. It will combine all research and innovation funding currently provided through the Framework Programmes for Research and Technical Development, the innovation related activities of the Competitiveness and Innovation Framework Programme (CIP) and the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT).

© European Commission | source: YouTube

Learn more about Horizon 2020

The Seventh Framework Programme (FP7)

The 7th Framework Programme started in 2007 and will run until the end of 2013. Its total budget of €54 billion is approximately 60% higher than that of the 6th Framework Programme.

The EU’s Framework Programme for Research and Development is subdivided into seven Specific Programmes, according to which European research activities are structured:

  • Cooperation
  • Ideas
  • People
  • Capacities
  • Joint Research Centre (non-nuclear activities)
  • Euratom
  • Joint Research Centre (nuclear activities)

The first five of these Specific Programmes make up the European Community's Framework Programme; the final two form the Euratom Framework Programme, which has a duration of five years (2007-2011).

The Research Framework Programme is to contribute to the creation of a European Research Area, which will be an important step towards the establishment of a dynamic and knowledge-based economy. Improving the coordination of research activities at EU level has the aim of increasing growth and international competitiveness.

Erasmus+ – Education, Training, and Youth 2014-2020

The Erasmus+ programme aims to boost skills and employability, as well as modernising Education, Training, and Youth work. The seven year programme will have a budget of €14.7 billion; a 40% increase compared to current spending levels, reflecting the EU's commitment to investing in these areas.

Erasmus+ will provide opportunities for over 4 million Europeans to study, train, gain work experience and volunteer abroad.

Erasmus+ will support transnational partnerships among Education, Training, and Youth institutions and organisations to foster cooperation and bridge the worlds of Education and work in order to tackle the skills gaps we are facing in Europe.

It will also support national efforts to modernise Education, Training, and Youth systems. In the field of Sport, there will be support for grassroots projects and cross-border challenges such as combating match-fixing, doping, violence and racism.

Erasmus+ brings together seven existing EU programmes in the fields of Education, Training, and Youth; it will for the first time provide support for Sport. As an integrated programme, Erasmus+ offers more opportunities for cooperation across the Education link to another EC website, Training link to another EC website, Youth link to another EC website, and Sport link to another EC website sectors and is easier to access than its predecessors, with simplified funding rules. 

Creative Europe – Culture & Audiovisual

Creative Europe is the new European Union programme for the cultural and creative sectors, set to last until 2020. With a budget of €1.46 billion, the programme offers funding opportunities to a variety of artists and organisations.

Following on from the previous Culture Programme link to another EC website and MEDIA programme Creative Europe, will support:

  • Culture sector initiatives, such as those promoting cross-border cooperation, platforms, networking, and literary translation;
  • Audiovisual sector initiatives, such as those promoting the development, distribution, or access to audiovisual works;
  • A cross-sectoral strand, including a Guarantee Facility and transnational policy cooperation.
    The programme consists of two sub-programmes; the Culture sub-programme to promote the culture sector, and the MEDIA sub-programme to support the audiovisual sector.

Leonardo – life long learning

The Leonardo da Vinci programme focuses on the teaching and training needs of those involved in vocational education and training. It aims to establish and bolster the competitiveness of the European labour market by helping European citizens to acquire new skills, knowledge and qualifications and have them recognised across borders. It also supports innovations and improvements in vocational education and training systems and practices. One main objective is to increase the quality and attractiveness of vocational education and training in Europe.

Leonardo da Vinci is open to the entire spectrum of subjects covered by vocational education and training. It supports the transfer of knowledge, innovation and expertise between all key actors in this domain.

Leonardo da Vinci funds a wide-range of actions, notably transnational mobility, European projects focusing on the development or the transfer of innovation and networks. It addresses trainees in initial vocational training, people available on the labour market and professionals in vocational education and training, as well as any organisation active in this field.

LINGUA – language teaching and learning

Lingua helps to raise the standards in language teaching and learning by ensuring the availability of sufficient language learning instruments and tools for assessing linguistic skills acquired; it also encourages the development of new materials and a wider dissemination of existing methods which represent best practice and provide European added-value.

TEMPUS – higher education in Central and Eastern Europe

Tempus promotes the voluntary convergence with EU developments in higher education deriving from the Lisbon Strategy to create more jobs and growth, and the Bologna Process to establish a European Area of Higher Education.

Tempus finances two types of action through regular calls for proposals published on this website.
Joint Projects are based on multilateral partnerships between higher education institutions in the EU and the partner countries. They can develop, modernise and disseminate new curricula, teaching methods or materials, boost a quality assurance culture, and modernise the management and governance of higher education institutions Structural Measures contribute to the development and reform of higher education institutions and systems in partner countries, to enhance their quality and relevance, and increase their convergence with EU developments.


The Grundtvig programme seeks to respond to the challenges raised by the necessity to update knowledge and to provide adults with pathways to improve their know-how and competences, as they progress through life so that they can adapt to changes in the labour market and society.

Grundtvig focuses on all forms of non-vocational adult and continuing education. It is targeted at learners, teachers, trainers and other staff in adult education and the educational institutions, organisations and other bodies offering and facilitating such learning opportunities. Adult education associations, counselling and information services, NGOs, enterprises, research centres and higher education institutions can work together through transnational partnerships, European projects and networks. Those involved in adult education can also take part in mobility activities.


The Commission facilitates co-operation amongst the ministries in charge of youth in the Member States and promotes a structured dialogue between policy-makers and young people and their organisations. The aim is to promote the active citizenship of young people, to foster their social integration in society and to ensure that a youth dimension is taken into account in other EU policies.

This policy work is supported by concrete action in the form of a specific programme for young people: the Youth in Action programme. The Commission’s role is to ensure the smooth and effective management of this programme and to monitor its implementation at national and European level. The Commission is also responsible for ensuring the coherence of the Programme, while further developing its various Actions, particularly by elaborating an overall strategy and priorities.


The EUROCORES (European Collaborative Research) Scheme is a unique framework offered by the European Science Foundation (ESF) to promote collaborative research, networking and dissemination while targeting broad and complex topics of research across all scientific domains at the European level and in a global context.

EUROCORES is not part of FP7 although the current funding for coordination and networking is provided by a contract in the Framework Programme 6. The research funding comes from national funding organisations, but the thrusts are not nationally or strategically driven but rather researcher lead and in consultation with the participating funding organisations. EUROCORES is working to promote and stimulate European collaborative research which is of the highest quality, innovative and investigator driven, in and across all scientific areas. EUROCORES enables researchers to work in joint research projects with colleagues in other European countries and beyond, whilst the funding remains national.