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Cedefop (European Centre for the Development of Vocational Training)

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Cedefop (European Centre for the Development of Vocational Training)

The Centre’s role is to assist the Commission in promoting and developing vocational and continuing training at the European Union (EU) level.


Council Regulation (EEC) No 337/75 of 10 February 1975 establishing a European Centre for the Development of Vocational Training [See amending acts].


The purpose of the Centre is to support the Commission in promoting vocational education and training (VET), and in developing and implementing a common VET policy through its scientific and technical activities. Cedefop raises awareness and understanding of VET’s role in lifelong learning and of its contribution to other policies. It enjoys the broadest legal status in all Member States. The non-profit Centre is based in Thessaloniki (Greece), and its tasks are to:

  • compile documentation on developments in VET, and contribute to the development of VET research, providing evidence from research, statistical data and policy analysis to support VET policy-making;
  • disseminate all useful documentation and information through its website, publications, networks, study visits, conferences and seminars;
  • encourage and support a concerted approach to strengthening European cooperation in VET policy development, and to stimulate interest in the changing nature of occupations and vocational qualifications;
  • provide a forum that brings together diverse VET interests. This includes coordinating, on behalf of the Commission, the consolidated study visits for experts and officials, heads of education and training institutions, guidance and experience accreditation services, and social partners in the lifelong learning programme in line with the Decision on the lifelong learning programme 2008-13.

To attain its objectives, the Centre sets mid-term priorities and annual work programmes. Under its mid-term priorities for 2009-11, the Centre’s strategic objective is to “contribute to excellence in VET and strengthen European cooperation in developing, implementing and evaluating European VET policy”. This strategic objective is supported by four priorities, namely:

  • informing European VET policies;
  • interpreting European trends in and challenges for skills, competences and learning;
  • assessing the benefits of VET;
  • raising the profile of VET.

The outcomes of the Centre’s work are aimed at decision-makers in European institutions and Member States, and the social partners who are, uniquely, present at all levels of VET policy and practice. The Centre’s added value is the high quality of its analyses, and expertise and information to support European cooperation in VET, providing:

  • an independent scientific European perspective through comparative analyses of developments that raise awareness and understanding of VET issues across the EU;
  • insights into complex issues to identify common European approaches and principles to improve VET and achieve common aims;
  • a unique forum that brings together the diverse VET interests of policy-makers, social partners, researchers and practitioners to debate proposals for policy and research;
  • increased awareness of how VET is evolving, of its role in lifelong learning and how it contributes to other policies.

The Centre’s Governing Board adopts all strategic decisions, such as the mid-term priorities, the annual work programme and Cedefop’s estimate of revenue and expenditure. In doing so, it takes account of the needs indicated by Community institutions. The Board comprises 89 members (4 without voting rights) who represent the Commission (3), three distinct groups – governments (28 (rota system for Belgium)), employers' organisations (27) and employees' organisations (27) from each Member State – and the coordinators of the employees’ and the employers’ groups at European level. Norway and Iceland are also represented and have observer status. It meets once a year.

The Bureau monitors the implementation of the Governing Board’s decisions and the management of the Centre between Board meetings, as delegated by the Governing Board and in line with the Founding Regulation. It comprises the Chair of the Governing Board, its three Vice-Chairs, another Commission representative and a coordinator appointed by each of the three groups making up the Board.

The Director, who is appointed by the Commission from a list of candidates submitted by the Governing Board, carries out the decisions of the Governing Board and is responsible for the management of the Centre. He/she is the Centre’s legal representative and organises the meetings of the Governing Board and the Bureau. He/she draws up the final accounts and forwards them to the European Parliament, the Council of Ministers, the Commission and the Court of Auditors, together with the Governing Board’s opinion, and implements the Centre’s budget.

The Governing Board is required to send the Commission an estimate of revenue and expenditure for the following financial year by 31 March at the latest each year. This estimate is forwarded by the Commission to the European Parliament and the Council with the preliminary draft budget of the EU. The budgetary authority determines the appropriations available for the Centre.

The budgetary and financial rules applicable to Cedefop are in line with the general Financial Regulation as last amended. All expenditure and revenue of the Centre is checked by the Commission's accounting officer, who draws up an annual report on budgetary and financial management and sends it to the Court of Auditors, the European Parliament and the Council of Ministers.

The Centre’s staff is subject to the staff regulations of the European Communities. Cedefop documents are available to all EU citizens and natural or legal persons without their having to justify their interest. This access is provided for in Regulation (EC) No 1049/2001 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 30 May 2001.



Entry into force

Deadline for transposition in the Member States

Official Journal

Regulation (EEC) No 337/75



OJ L of 39 13.2.1975

Amending act(s)

Entry into force

Deadline for transposition in the Member States

Official Journal

Regulation (EEC) No 1946/93



OJ L 181 of 23.7.1993

Regulation (EC) No 1131/94



OJ L 127 of 19.5.1994

Regulation (EC) No 251/95



OJ L 30 of 9.2.1995

Regulation (EC) No 354/95



OJ L 41 of 23.2.1995

Regulation (EC) No 1655/2003



OJ L 245 of 29.9.2003

Regulation (EC) No 2051/2004



OJ L335 of 1.12.2004


Report from the Commission to the Council, the European Parliament, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions of 13 June 2008 on the external evaluation of the European Centre for the Development of Vocational Training [COM(2008) 356 final – Not published in the Official Journal]. The Centre underwent an external evaluation to assess its relevance, added value, impact, effectiveness and efficiency during the period 2001-07 (original scope 2001-06). The evaluation report submitted by the Commission to the European Parliament was very positive.

Cedefop’s work was found to be relevant, with the Centre not only responding to the emerging EU VET policy agenda, but also helping influence its development at the highest levels. Since its foundation, the Centre has provided information for the VET community at large, acquiring a strong reputation and visibility in European VET. The Centre was also found to have a very distinct added value. No other organisation has such a dedicated focus and Europe-wide pool of experience and competence in VET. The evaluation noted key strengths where Cedefop clearly has a positive impact and brings added value: supporting the Education and Training 2010 work programme, analysing progress in the Copenhagen process to enhance European cooperation in VET and producing reports for ministerial meetings; bringing together relevant VET research to interpret current trends in Member States and filling knowledge gaps by providing much-needed analysis of current and future skills needs in Europe; providing a space where people in VET can come together to discuss key aspects, and promoting understanding and peer learning.

See also

  • Further information is available on the Cedefop website

Last updated: 29.09.2008