A strengthened engagement in the area of education is an important element outlined in the European Union’s new approach towards the European Neighbhourhood Policy (ENP) countries.
In the context of the recent developments in the South of the Mediterranean, particular attention needs to be given to supporting actions in favour of young people in the southern ENP countries, who play an important role in the current democratisation process of the region.
Furthermore, most European Neighbourhood Policy countries continue to be on a transition towards establishing fully-fledged market economies. Therefore, partner country institutions, including higher education institutions, are under strong pressure to provide the skills required by their new economic conditions.
Support for partner country institutions in their reform efforts and in establishing people-to-people cooperation, especially in the field of higher education, will be offered through the Erasmus Mundus programme, with the aim of contributing to the mutual understanding between people, countries and cultures in the EU’s Neighbouring countries.
In particular, the Erasmus Mundus II (Action 2 Partnerships, Strand 1) seeks to extend to the ENPI region the best practices of the internal Erasmus Programme and to expand mobility opportunities to include all levels of higher education. The programme provides support for the establishment of cooperation partnerships between European higher education institutions and higher education institutions from neighbourhood countries.