To enable a person undergoing work-linked training - including apprenticeship - to spend a period of training in another EU Member State and to establish at Community level a record of achievement in the form of a document known as "EUROPASS-Training" attesting to the completion of the training period.

2) ACT

Council Decision 51/99/EC of 21 December 1998 on the promotion of European pathways for work-linked training, including apprenticeship [Official Journal L 17 of 22.01.1999].



European pathways: where there is agreement on the use of the "EUROPASS-Training" document, any period of vocational training pursued by a person in a Member State (host Member State) other than the one (Member State of provenance) where the person is following his/her work-linked training in the context of the said training.

Person in work-linked training: any person of any age undergoing vocational training, irrespective of the level and including higher education. Such training, recognised or certified by the competent authorities of the Member State of provenance in accordance with its existing legislation, procedures and practices, involves structured periods of training in a company and, if necessary, in a training establishment or centre, whatever the person's status (work contract, apprenticeship contract, scholar or student).

Mentor: any person who, for a private or public employer, or for a training establishment or centre in the host Member State, has the task of assisting, informing, guiding and monitoring trainees throughout their "European pathway".

EUROPASS-Training: document proving that the holder has completed one or more periods of work-linked training or apprenticeship in another Member State under the conditions set out in the Decision.

Host partner: body responsible for the "European pathway" in the host Member State (company, training establishment or centre, etc.) under a partnership arrangement with the body responsible for organising the training in the Member State of provenance.

In keeping with their system of vocational training, Member States must adopt the necessary measures to ensure that persons in work-linked training can benefit from "European pathways", which:

A record of achievement, known as EUROPASS-Training, must be issued to all persons completing a European pathway. A Community information document, this record of achievement:

These provisions also apply when the European pathway includes a series of training periods in several Member States. As the content of the EUROPASS-Training document must be understood throughout the EU, it must affirm in the different EU languages that the training pathway or periods of training have been completed.

The Commission must ensure overall consistency between the implementation of the "European pathways" and the Community programmes and initiatives in the field of education and vocational training.

The Commission will be responsible for producing, issuing and monitoring the EUROPASS-Training records of achievement as appropriate, in close cooperation with the Member States. Each Member State must designate one or more bodies to be responsible for coordination and implementation at national level, in close cooperation with the social partners and, where appropriate, with representative organisations for work-linked training. Each Member State must take steps to facilitate access to "EUROPASS-Training", to allow for evaluation of the action undertaken and to promote equality of opportunity. The Commission, in cooperation with the Member States, will introduce a system of mutual information and coordination. The Commission and the Member States must take into account the importance of small and medium-sized enterprises and craft businesses and their specific requirements.

The funds available for implementing the support and accompanying measures are EUR 7.3 million from 1 January 2000 to 31 December 2004.

Three years after the adoption of the Decision, the Commission will submit to the European Parliament and Council a report on its implementation, evaluate the impact of the Decision on the promotion of mobility in work-linked training, including apprenticeship, propose any further corrective measures designed to make it more effective and make any proposals it deems appropriate, including budgetary proposals.


Entry into force

Deadline for transposition in the Member States

Official Journal

Decision 51/99/EC



OJ L 17 of 22.1.1999

4) implementing measures

5) follow-up work

Report from the Commission to the European Parliament and the Council - Report on the implementation of Decision 1999/51/EC of the Council of 21 December 1998 on the promotion of European pathways in work-linked training, including apprenticeship [COM(2002) 214 final of 22.05.2002 - not published in the Official Journal]

The report stresses that a large number of European pathways fall within the framework of the Leonardo da Vinci programme, with the other European programmes (Socrates, Youth and Equal) playing a secondary role. The Member States have designated national contact points (pdf) responsible for implementing the initiative as well as for providing information about it and promoting it.

Since the year 2000, some 19 3000 EUROPASS-Training documents have been issued, including 10 000 in Germany, 3 000 in France and 2 000 in the UK. The United Kingdom was the country in which the vast majority of the document holders spent a training period, followed by Spain, Germany and France. The length of the training periods varies from 3 to 15 weeks. Most of the beneficiaries of the EUROPASS-Training arrangement are women (approximately 55 %) and are aged between 17 and 23. The most popular occupations are those in the hotel, catering and tourism industry. Evaluations have been carried out at national level. An interim evaluation will take place at European level in December 2002.

See also

Additional information can be found on the Internet site of the competent Directorate-General by consulting the pages concerning the EUROPASS-Training initiative.

Last updated: 07.10.2005