From coal to knowledge: A history of the VET policies in the European Union

Carlos de Olagüe Smithson

Abstract


The Treaty of Paris (ECSC, 1951) funded in 1951 the European Coal and Steel Community. This first step was followed by the Treaty of Rome, that created in 1957 the European Economic Community. This Treaty states that the constant improvement of the living and working conditions of their people is an essential objective. In 1963 the Council proposes 10 principles for implementing a common vocational training policy. One of the results of these principles is creation in 1975 of the European Centre for the Development of Vocational Training – Cedefop. In 1978, the Committee of Education decides to create the network for information and documentation on European education Eurydice and 1984 was the foundation year of the Network of National Academic Recognition Information Centres, NARICs.

In the late 80s, European actions begin to foster transnational mobilities. In 1987, the Council of the European Communities adopted the European Community Action Scheme for the Mobility of University Students, ERASMUS and during the years from 1988 to 1994 the programmes PETRA, EUROTECNET and FORCE promoted the European cooperation in vocational education and training. LEONARDO I and II were the successors of these programmes from 1995 to 2006. LEONARDO was included in the Lifelong Learning Programme (LLP) in the period 2007-2013 and has ended up as part of the current Erasmus+ education mobility action during the period 2014-2020.

As mentioned in the 2000 Lisbon Agenda and in Horizon 2020, Europe pursues the strategic objective of orienting its economy towards knowledge. This knowledge-based economy idea has an influence on the Bologna (1999) and Copenhague (2002) Declarations. The Bologna Declaration is focused on Higher Education and has managed to transform the university studies in Europe. The Copenhagen Declaration has still not managed to minimise the differences of the VET studies in the European Union.

 


Keywords


Vocational education and training; VET; Europe; European Union; legislation; Copenhagen Declaration; EQF; EQAVET; ECVET; ECTS; Erasmus; Leonardo

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References


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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5944/reec.29.2017.17532

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