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Leonardo da Vinci (Phase II) 2000-2006

This summary has been archived and will not be updated, because the summarised document is no longer in force or does not reflect the current situation.

Leonardo da Vinci (Phase II) 2000-2006

Leonardo da Vinci aims to contribute towards the creation of a European education area through the promotion of lifelong learning and continued Community-level cooperation between actors in the field of vocational training.


Council Decision 1999/382/EC of 26 April 1999 establishing the second phase of the Community vocational training action programme Leonardo da Vinci [See amending acts].


While drawing on experience gained in the first phase of the Leonardo da Vinci programme and focusing on the objectives set out by the Commission in its communication entitled " Towards a Europe of knowledge ", this decision provides for the establishment of the second phase of the Community vocational training action programme Leonardo da Vinci for the period from 1 January 2000 to 31 December 2006.

The main objectives of the programme are as follows:

  • to strengthen the competencies and skills of people, especially young people, in initial vocational training at all levels, via work-linked training and apprenticeship, with a view to improving promoting their employability;
  • to improve the quality of, and access to continuing vocational training and the life-long acquisition of qualifications and skills, with a view to increasing and developing adaptability;
  • to promote and reinforce the contribution of vocational training systems to the process of innovation in order to improve competitiveness and entrepreneurship.

The implementation of these objectives at European level will complement measures taken by and in the Member States. The Commission will ensure that action under the programme is consistent with the Community's other actions and policies.

Particular attention will be paid to people at a disadvantage in the labour market, including disabled people, and to practices facilitating their access to training, to equal opportunities and to the fight against discrimination.

The following actions will be carried out under the programme:

  • support for transnational mobility of people undergoing vocational training in Europe and of training organisers;
  • support for pilot projects based on transnational partnerships designed to promote innovation and quality in vocational training;
  • promotion of language skills, including for less widely used and taught languages, and understanding of different cultures in the context of vocational training;
  • support for the development of transnational cooperation networks facilitating the exchange of experience and good practice;
  • development and updating of Community reference material and comparable data;
  • development of joint actions with other Community programmes;
  • design of accompanying measures.

In implementing these actions, the Decision provides for particular support to transnational actions to promote and use information and communication technologies (ICT) in vocational training.

Participation in the programme is open to all public and/or private bodies and institutions involved in vocational training, in particular:

  • training establishments, centres and bodies at all levels, including universities;
  • research centres and bodies;
  • companies and consortia, particularly SMEs;
  • trade organisations, including chambers of commerce;
  • social partners' organisations at all levels;
  • local and regional bodies and organisations;
  • non-profit associations and non-governmental organisations.

The Commission is ensuring the implementation of the Community actions covered by the programme. The Member States are endeavouring to take the necessary steps to ensure the efficient running of the programme at national level. In particular, they are setting up National Agencies to manage the operational implementation of the actions.

The proposals submitted by promoters in response to calls for proposals will be selected according to one of the following procedures:

  • procedure A for mobility projects. The general aim of this measure is to provide individuals with financial assistance to train abroad. The procedure is administered by the national agencies, which receive an overall annual grant from the Commission;
  • procedure B for pilot projects (except thematic actions), language skills and transnational networks. This is a two-stage selection procedure which requires the participating Member States to evaluate and select proposals and the Commission to evaluate and classify them;
  • procedure C for reference documents, thematic actions, projects based on joint actions and projects submitted by European organisations. This is a centralised procedure under which the Commission is responsible for concluding contracts and for managing and monitoring the projects concerned.

The Commission will be assisted by a committee comprising representatives from the Member States and chaired by the representative of the Commission.

When implementing the programme, the Commission will endeavour to develop the social dialogue at Community level in close collaboration with the social partners.

The Commission will secure the assistance of the European Centre for the Development of Vocational Training (Cedefop) and will establish co-ordination with the European Training Foundation.

The programme is open to the Member States of the European Union (Austria, Belgium, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Slovenia, Slovakia, Spain, Sweden, United Kingdom), three countries of the European Economic Area (EEA - Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway) and two candidate countries (Bulgaria and Romania). It is expected that Turkey will be able to participate from 2004.

The Commission is strengthening cooperation with non-Community countries and with the relevant international organisations.

The programme is regularly monitored by the Commission in conjunction with the Member States. On the basis of the reports to be submitted by the Member States by 31 December 2003 and 30 June 2007 respectively, the Commission will submit to the European Parliament, the Council and the Economic and Social Committee:

  • a first interim report on the initial operational implementation of the programme by 30 June 2002;
  • a second interim report on the implementation of the programme by 30 June 2004;
  • a communication on the continuation of the programme by 31 December 2004; where appropriate, the communication shall contain a suitable proposal;
  • a final report on the implementation of the programme by 31 December 2007.



Entry into force - Date of expiry

Deadline for transposition in the Member States

Official Journal

Decision 1999/382/EC

26.04.1999 - 31.12.2006


OJ L 146 of 11.06.1999

Amending act(s)

Entry into force

Deadline for transposition in the Member States

Official Journal

Regulation (EC) No 1882/2003



OJ L 284 of 31.10.2003

Regulation (EC) No 885/2004



OJ L 168 of 01.05.2004


Decision No 1720/2006/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 15 November 2006 establishing an action programme in the field of lifelong learning [Official Journal L OJ L 327 of 24.11.2006].

Report from the Commission - Interim report on the implementation of the second phase of the Leonardo da Vinci programme (2000-2006) [COM(2004) 152 final - Not published in the Official Journal]

In general, the objectives and priorities of the Leonardo da Vinci II programme appear to meet the main expectations and requirements of the actual promoters and beneficiaries of the programme. The report notes that in the first four years more than 80 % of the budget has been allocated to "mobility" and "pilot project" measures. This leaves very little for the other initiatives, which should probably receive more support in future.

The figures for 2000-2003 clearly illustrate the efficiency of the "mobility" and "pilot project" measures and the weakness of the other measures:

  • transnational mobility: an overall budget of around EUR 300 million was allocated to some 7 000 placement projects and 2 300 exchange projects, involving a total of 143 000 students and young workers 22 000 trainers;
  • pilot projects: 825 pilot projects were supported, with a total budget of EUR 271 million and involving more than 8 000 organisations;
  • language competence: 88 projects were supported, with a total budget of EUR 26.7 million and involving around 800 organisations. While no one is questioning the relevance of language and cultural competences in vocational training in a European context, the value and goal of the measure do not seem to be understood by the project promoters. The report recommends the integration of the "language competence" measure into "pilot projects";
  • transnational networks: 45 transnational networks were supported, with a total budget of EUR 13.1 million and involving around 720 organisations. The role of networks needs to be better developed and explained, and also strengthened in the context of "normal" projects;
  • reference materials: 46 transnational networks were supported, with a total budget of EUR 19 million and involving around 500 organisations. The approach based on calls for proposals did not work as expected. In 2002 the Commission therefore decided to launch a number of calls for tenders to collect the required statistical data;
  • joint actions with other Community programmes: 37 networks were supported, with a total budget of EUR 7.6 million and involving around 300 organisations. So far, experience has been limited to cooperation projects with the Youth and Socrates programmes. The implementation of this measure is hampered to some extent by cumbersome administration.

The report also notes that decentralising a substantial part of the programme activities to the national authorities and national agencies has had a positive effect on programme implementation. It concludes that programme efficiency has improved compared with the previous 10-year period.

Commission Report - European Commission Interim Report on the Start of the Operational Implementation of the Second Phase of the Leonardo da Vinci Programme (2000-2006) [COM (2002) 315 final of 14.06.2002 - Not published in the Official Journal]

By confirming the role of lifelong learning in making Europe the most competitive and dynamic knowledge-based society in the world, the Lisbon European Council added a new perspective to the strategy for education and training. The creation of a European area of lifelong learning has become the guiding principle for all the activities within the programme. However, each proposal will have relate to one of the following three priorities:

  • optimising learning and ensuring the mutual recognition of learning periods, certificates and diplomas;
  • promoting new forms of learning and teaching (e.g. learning to learn) and cultivating basic skills in vocational education and training (e.g. ICT and foreign languages);
  • improving guidance and counselling by exchanging experiences and standards.

Reducing the number of objectives from six (see Commission Decision of 20 January 2000) to three was done in order to simplify and rationalise the programme.

The report underlines the steps taken to decentralise the organisation and management of the programme in the interests of the national authorities and national agencies. In fact, the national agencies are responsible for managing around 83 % of the programme budget. The Commission ensures that the programme is implemented in accordance with the Council Decision and is assisted in this by the Leonardo da Vinci Committee, which is composed of representatives of each Member State, the candidate countries and the social partners. The decentralisation process has resulted in a considerable degree of flexibility and has reduced the period required for selecting projects, which is currently seven months on average.

Procedure A for mobility projects has been so successful - some 75 500 people have participated in the programme and received Community funding of EUR 141.2 million - that the Commission plans to give it a more important role to play. In this regard, the Commission wishes to improve the arrangements in place for recognising educational periods spent abroad, particularly the " Europass Training " document.

Under procedure B, pilot projects account for by far the greatest share of the total budget, i.e. 36 %. The years 2000 and 2001 saw the selection of 373 pilot projects - 45 of which focused on linguistic skills - and the creation of 27 networks. In view of their success, the Commission decided that the budget for pilot projects should be increased.

The results were not so encouraging for procedure C. Funding was awarded to only five thematic projects, seven joint actions on promoting the coordination of the Leonardo programme vis-à-vis other initiatives and 27 projects on gathering comparative data. The Commission has nevertheless decided to make these options more accessible and to strengthen the lifelong learning element. The Euroguidance network, which focuses on the financing of projects on promoting mobility in Europe and on supporting the exchange of information concerning education and training systems and qualifications in Europe, now comprises 50 centres throughout the participating countries. The network plays an important role in implementing the European strategy for lifelong learning and will contribute to the European Guidance Forum.

When it comes to the participation of target groups in training projects, the Commission plans to further simplify procedures so that small and medium-sized enterprises can participate more easily, to promote equal opportunities so that women can play a more active role and to encourage the participation of the candidate countries. Turkey is the only country yet to take part in the programme.

The Commission intends to improve the dissemination of the results of the programme by creating an Internet database and drawing up an action plan to optimise the results of projects and ensure a higher degree of complementarity between the Leonardo programme and the other financial instruments which are designed to promote human potential, particularly the European Social Fund (ESF) and the European employment strategy.

Last updated: 21.02.2007