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:

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:

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:

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:

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:



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:

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:

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