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The EU Education Policy in the Post-Lisbon Era

A Comprehensive Approach


Caroline U. Amann

This book provides a comprehensive view of the current state of affairs and possible developments in EU education law and policy. It covers the innovations brought about by the Lisbon Treaty as well as the Lisbon/EU 2020 Strategy and its implications for education and training and analyses the EU programme Erasmus+. Moreover, it takes a close look at the right to education as contained in the Charter of Fundamental Human Rights of the European Union and outlines the main trends in European Court of Justice case law. Finally, it focuses on cohesion policy measures and assesses the education initiatives undertaken by macro-regional strategies and the European Grouping of Territorial Cooperation (EGTC) European Region Tyrol-South Tyrol-Trentino.


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2. An Education Policy in the Making – A Historical Overview


If there is a Community law of education, there is also a Community educational policy. But these two categories do not, it seems, entirely overlap. On the one hand, much of what may be called the law on education is the result of Community policies whose primary interest is not the substantive content of education but rather the functional objective of establishing a common market. On the other hand, much of what may be called common educational policy […], does not take the form of binding Community law, but more ambiguous forms of public international law or “Community soft law”.13 2.1 Humble Beginnings – the Initiation Phase (1948–1963)14 In its early days, the EU was first and foremost meant to be an economic union. Founded after a period of wartime atrocities, its prime goal for peacekeeping was to be achieved through economic ties making European countries interdepen- dent. Education was to be left to the Council of Europe (CoE), Europe’s first par- liamentary and political assembly established in 194915, as the Member States were not keen on intrusions into what they considered part of their domaine réservé. An intergovernmental body such as the CoE was therefore deemed to be more adequate for dealing with such issues because no transfer of competences – and thus no de-nationalization – had to take place. Over the next two decades and beyond, the CoE remained the “main player” in European education coop- eration.16 Other intergovernmental actors taking part in the quest for educational 13...

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