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The EU Education Policy in the Post-Lisbon Era

A Comprehensive Approach

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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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1. Introduction

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Education is indeed the linchpin needed to build the productive connection between economic and social policies, between competitiveness and social cohesion, and it is the motor force for innovation and systemic social change. Education also opens up the most effective routes to explore the richness of European diversity and to develop a sense of belonging to Europe as a vital part of the individual’s sense of identity.1

Education is one of the policy areas in which the European Union (EU)2 holds supporting competence3. This means that the Member States have attributed no legislative power to the EU. It may “carry out actions to support, coordinate or supplement” the action of the Member States, however, “[l]egally binding acts of the Union adopted on the basis of the provisions of the Treaties relating to these areas” are not to supersede Member State competence by harmonising laws on national or regional level.4 The EU shall therefore “contribute to the development of quality education by encouraging cooperation between Member States […] while fully respecting the responsibility of the Member States for the content of teaching and the organisation of education systems and their cultural and linguistic diversity.”5 Moreover, the EU “shall implement a vocational training policy which shall support and supplement the action of the Member States, while fully respecting the responsibility of the Member States for the content and organisation of vocational training.”6

The complexity of EU education law dates back to the early...

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