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What had been announced for a long time has now become reality: the Education, Audiovisual and Culture Executive Agency is – at least on paper - operational since 3 January 2006. The ETAPE Consortium, consisting of ACA and its partner organisation ESMU, has hence ceased to provide technical assistance for the Socrates, Leonardo and Youth programme of the European Commission since 31 December 2005. A residual technical assistance office remains in place until the end of January 2006. Its task is to hand over outstanding business to the Executive Agency, which is taking over the TAO's activities.
The ETAPE Consortium had established in 1995 a Brussels-based Technical Assistance Office (TAO), which functioned as the administrative arm of the European Commission in the implementation of the SOCRATES and Youth programmes. Later this was extended to cover also Socrates II and Leonardo II. In managing the programmes, ACA used the long-standing and in-depth expertise its members have acquired in the handling of thousands of national programmes for international cooperation. On 14 January 2005 the Commission adopted the Decision 2005/56/EC, setting up the Education, Audiovisual and Culture Executive Agency (see also ACA Newsletter - Education Europe, May 2005), to be operational by January 2006.
On behalf of the ETAPE Consortium, ACA thanks all staff members of the TAO for their excellent work, and wishes them all the best for their professional future.Temporary ETAPE website