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Summaries of EU Legislation

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Summaries of EU legislation: direct access to the main summaries page.

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Commission Opinion [COM(97) 2003 final - Not published in the Official Journal]

Commission Report [COM(98) 702 final - Not published in the Official Journal]

Commission Report [COM (1999) 510 final - Not published in the Official Journal]

Commission Report [COM(2000) 710 final - Not published in the Official Journal]

Commission Report [COM(2001) 700 final - SEC(2001) 1753 - Not published in the Official Journal]

Commission Report [COM(2002) 700 final - SEC(2002) 1409 - Not published in the Official Journal]

Commission Report [COM(2003) 676 final - SEC(2003) 1211 - Not published in the Official Journal]

Commission Report [COM(2004) 657 final - SEC(2004) 1200 - Not published in the Official Journal]

Traité d'adhésion à l'Union européenne [Journal officiel L 157 du 21.06.2005]


In its July 1997 Opinion, the European Commission considered that Romania should not have major problems in the area of education, training and youth with a view to its accession.

The November 1998 Report noted that Romania had adopted important measures in this area, notably in the context of legislative institutional reforms. However, it pointed out that additional efforts were needed to overcome internal difficulties and to put in place programmes inspired by European values that encouraged tolerance and ethnic understanding.

The October 1999 Report ascertained that the reform of the education system was continuing but at a slower pace; a major effort would be required in order to achieve international standards. The report highlighted the measures which had been taken to create closer links between vocational education and training and the global education reform, and in particular the integration of the Directorate for Vocational Education and Training at the Ministry of Education into the Directorate-General for Human Resources and the opening of a National Centre for the Development of Technical and Vocational Training. Romania had put in place the basic structures allowing it to participate in the Community programmes and continued to participate in the three Community programmes Socrates, Leonardo da Vinci and Youth for Europe. By decision of the government, the national agencies responsible for the Socrates and Leonardo da Vinci programmes had been granted financial autonomy.

The November 2000 Report noted that Romania had made progress in several areas, particularly in vocational training, and was continuing to play an active part in the Community programmes. However, it emphasized that measures still needed to be taken to align Romanian policy with the Community acquis.

The November 2001 Report noted the progress made following the transposal in June of the Directive on the education of the children of migrant workers and the adoption of significant support measures for the education of children from low-income families. However, the legislative framework of the education reform and the resources earmarked for this needed to be strengthened.

The October 2002 Report noted that progress had been made but that further work was needed, particularly in obtaining the financial resources required to carry out the reforms which had been initiated.

The November 2003 Report noted that additional progress had been made but that further work was needed to increase schooling rates, improve the quality of teaching and encourage adults to undertake training.

The October 2004 Report notes that Romania has made steady progress in this field, and that the reform of its education system has continued. However, the country must improve its administrative capacity still further, particularly as regards the national agencies responsible for the financial management of the Leonardo da Vinci and Youth programmes.

The Treaty of Accession was signed on 25 April 2005 and accession took place on 1 January 2007.


The EC Treaty provides that the Community shall:

  • contribute to the development of quality education which shall include a European dimension and shall support and supplement the action of the Member States while respecting their cultural and linguistic diversity (Article 149, ex Article 126) with regard to the content of teaching and the organisation of education systems;
  • implement a vocational training policy which shall support and supplement the action of the Member States (Article 150, ex Article 127) and shall aim to facilitate adaptation to industrial changes and increase employability.

These provisions are being implemented mainly through three major action programmes (Socrates, Leonardo da Vinci and Youth for Europe) recently updated by a new generation of programmes (Socrates, Leonardo and Youth).


The overall reform of the education system, which was begun in 1998, slowed down almost immediately due to financial difficulties. Romania's education system suffers from a lack of funds, and even though funding has been increased slightly it is still at a low level compared with the Community average. Investments should increase to 6% of GDP by 2007. However, significant advances were made in 2004. The amendment of the Education Act and the Statute of Teaching Staff allows decentralisation in education and makes for better financial management.

The increase in the number of schools has had a positive effect on the enrolment figures. Nevertheless, despite the adoption in 2003 of legislation laying down ten years as the minimum period for compulsory education, the participation rates for rural areas and for risk groups, particularly the Roma, are still low and remain a source of concern. The school drop-out rate is also much higher than the Community average.

The legislation adopted in May 2004 provides for the reorganisation of university studies into three cycles, which will facilitate the recognition of diplomas. Universities will also be allowed to set up partnerships and consortia in order to make more efficient use of their resources.

Romania has made progress in the reform of vocational education and adult training through the creation of a National Qualifications Agency. The planning for technical and vocational education programmes has been decentralised and put into the hands of the regional consortia, and is no longer the responsibility of the central authorities. Nevertheless, the link between vocational education, training centres and businesses should be strengthened in order to support the reforms under way.

Since 1997, Romania has been participating in the Socrates, Leonardo and Youth programmes. The mobility of students, teachers and researchers has been made a performance indicator for higher education institutions in order to facilitate the free movement of students. However, the resources of the national agencies responsible for Community programmes need to be increased, particularly for the Leonardo da Vinci and Youth programmes. In order to tackle the difficulties relating to public financial control, internal audit units responsible for, among other things, monitoring these agencies were set up in December 2003 within the Ministry of Education and Research.

Equal access to vocational training for all adults was recognised in September 2000, while legal provisions were adopted in June 2002 in order to set up the legislative and institutional framework needed for adult vocational training. In March 2003, the new Labour Code came into force, requiring employers to guarantee access to training for their employees.

On the basis of legislation dating from March 2004, the Romanian Government has implemented the provisions of the Directive on the education of the children of migrant workers.

Since the Commission Opinion of 1997, Romania has made steady progress. Negotiations on this chapter have been provisionally closed (see the 2002 Report). Romania has not requested any transitional arrangements in this area.

Last updated: 04.01.2005