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A majority of the European Parliament voted on 16 December to reinforce the EU’s external support for education and training by granting a stronger mandate to the European Training Foundation (ETF). The Turin-based agency helps the 29 partner countries to reform and modernise their education, training and employment systems, providing their people with the knowledge, skills and wider competences to take part in dynamic economies and societies. The new mandate broadens the thematic sphere of activity of the ETF (until now focused on vocational education and training) to include human resources development, particularly education and training with a view to Lifelong Learning, and also to related labour market matters.
Currently the agency works in 29 partner countries, but the new legal basis opens the way for the deployment of ETF expertise in countries other than those covered by the instruments for pre-accession and the neighbourhood partnerships. In the future, the ETF will be able to work in all of the EU’s partner countries, including those in Africa, the Caribbean and the Pacific (ACP) or Latin America.