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Picking stakeholders’ brains on the future generation of EU education programmes

In tandem with the launch of the Youth on the Move initiative on 15 September, the European Commission took another long awaited step – the opening of the public consultation on the next generation of EU programmes in education, training, and youth policy, which are collectively understood to be the successors to the Lifelong Learning, Youth in Action and the Erasmus Mundus programmes. The existing programmes will run until 31 December 2013, which coincides with the end of the current EU financial framework. The new generation of programmes will cover the period 2014-2020.

The three-strand consultation is open to individuals as well as to organisations and public authorities. Stakeholders have until the end of November (i.e. two and a half months) to fill out the three written questionnaires – one for each programme. Views are sought on the objectives and scope of the future programmes, their overall design and coverage of activities, their management and last but not least their funding. Respondents are also asked to indicate how they see the programmes contributing to the Europe 2020 Strategy for smart, sustainable and inclusive growth, and to the two specific initiatives under this strategy - Youth on the Move and An Agenda for New Skills and Jobs. Name-picking is part of the survey as well; stakeholders are invited to opt between extending the use of the current names of the programmes into the next seven-year framework, or introducing new names.

Experience indicates, however, that that changing well-established ‘brand names’ of programmes can do more harm than good, at least in the short run. Nevertheless, it should be interesting to see what the results of the consultation will show in a few months’ time. The extent to which these results will be taken into account for the design of the future programmes will be yet another test.

European Commission (Public consultations)