Tag Archives: Primary education

Millennium Development Goals : twelve-point action plan

Millennium Development Goals : twelve-point action plan

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Millennium Development Goals : twelve-point action plan


These categories group together and put in context the legislative and non-legislative initiatives which deal with the same topic.

Development > General development framework

Millennium Development Goals (MDGs): twelve-point action plan

Document or Iniciative

Communication from the Commission to the European Parliament, the Council, the European Economic and Social Committee, and the Committee of the Regions of 21 April 2010 – A twelve-point EU action plan in support of the Millennium Development Goals [COM(2010)0159 final – Not published in the Official Journal].


The European Union (EU) has undertaken to help accelerate progress towards the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) by 2015.

The developing countries have not made equal progress; some areas and regions are significantly behind. For example, improvements have been made in reducing extreme poverty, and in the areas of universal primary education and access to water. But 1.4 billion people still live in extreme poverty (51% of them in Sub-Saharan Africa) and one sixth of the world’s population is undernourished. There has been little progress in reducing maternal and child mortality, or with regard to access to sanitation.

Achieving the commitments of official development assistance

The EU has committed itself to increasing its official development assistance (ODA) to 0.7% of gross national income (GNI) by 2015. This commitment should be respected, despite the difficulties associated with the economic and financial crisis. The Commission therefore proposes to:

  • establish annual action plans to optimise the implementation of ODA;
  • strengthen the EU accountability mechanism, based on an assessment of ODA;
  • enact national legislation for setting ODA targets.

In addition, the Commission calls on other international donors to increase their contribution in line with EU ODA.

Improving the effectiveness of aid

The EU should strengthen the effectiveness of development aid and the coordination of the various actors involved. From this perspective, the Commission proposes in particular to:

  • progressively use a joint programming framework and a single programming cycle for the EU and its Member States by 2013;
  • introduce an Operational Framework for aid effectiveness, division of labour, transparency of funding, mutual accountability of the EU and developing countries;
  • encourage other donors to follow the principles of aid effectiveness.

Action plan to accelerate progress towards the MDGs

To accelerate progress towards the MDGs, the Commission proposes to:

  • target as a priority the countries and populations which are furthest behind, including countries in situations of fragility and least developed countries (LDCs);
  • target the MDGs which are furthest behind and improve the impact of European sectoral policies, particularly in the key sectors of health, education, food security and gender equality;
  • foster ownership of MDGs by partner countries, particularly by integrating these goals into their own development strategies and by improving the quality of statistical data;
  • adopt a Work Programme on Policy Coherence for Development concerning all European policies which are likely to affect partner countries. This applies particularly in the key areas of trade and finance, climate change, food security, migration and security;
  • promote the mobilisation of domestic resources, in particular through better national and international tax governance and the strengthening of partner countries’ tax systems;
  • promote regional integration and trade, which stimulate growth and jobs;
  • identify and promote innovative sources of funding, including via public-private partnerships, with a view to ensuring stable incomes for sustainable development, including in the poorest and most vulnerable countries;
  • support climate change adaptation and mitigation strategies in partner countries, particularly by promoting cooperation, research and access to green technologies;
  • create long-term security conditions, given that most of the countries behind in achieving the MDGs are in a fragile situation as a result of armed conflicts;
  • give a new impulse to the process of reform of the international governance architecture, in order to improve the effectiveness and legitimacy of the process through better inclusion of the poorest countries, whose interests are often marginalised.

These objectives are to be implemented by the Council and EU countries. The Commission will monitor the action plan and its funding.

Education and training in the context of poverty reduction

Education and training in the context of poverty reduction

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Education and training in the context of poverty reduction


These categories group together and put in context the legislative and non-legislative initiatives which deal with the same topic.

Education training youth sport > Education training youth: cooperation with non-EU countries

Education and training in the context of poverty reduction

Document or Iniciative

Communication from the Commission of 6 March 2002 to the Council and the European Parliament on education and training in the context of poverty reduction in developing countries [COM(2002) 116 final – Not published in the Official Journal].


Education and training play an essential role in reducing poverty and in development.


The Commission sets out three priorities for the Community, namely:

  • basic education, in particular primary education, and teacher training;
  • work-related training;
  • higher education, in particular at regional level.

In spite of the vital role of basic education, it is also important to ensure balanced development of education, in other words improved education systems at all levels.

Priority 1: basic education

As regards the development of basic education, nine main actions are set out:

  • increasing substantially the total resources channelled into education, in particular primary education;
  • improving the efficiency of education systems by drawing up strategies that take account of the specific situation of each country;
  • improving school access opportunities and moving towards free and compulsory access to primary education;
  • gearing budgets towards the most urgent needs for poor and vulnerable population groups which have only limited access to schools.
    These groups include women, people living in rural areas, indigenous peoples, children and disabled adults, etc;
  • reducing existing gender-based inequalities in relation to access to education by promoting the participation of women;
  • placing emphasis as much on the quality as the quantity of education.
    In this context, teacher training and the availability of teaching materials are priorities;
  • paying greater attention to the impact of AIDS on education systems and improving the prevention of the disease through education;
  • protecting and restoring education in conflict and post-conflict periods;
  • increasing knowledge of education programmes relevant to development.

First of all better statistics on education are needed so that a relevant strategy can be drawn up.

Priority 2: workrelated training

Priority should be given to work-related training, in other words consideration should be given to education demand. To this end, four priority actions are identified:

  • establishing an education system which provides an opportunity to learn more technical skills through vocational training. Specialist centres and apprenticeships are some examples of services that could be created for this purpose;
  • supporting educational strategies, systems and processes that promote the demand for education and the acquisition of qualifications needed to pave the way for the country’s economic growth;
  • introducing innovative approaches that go beyond the formal education sector, focusing on women in particular. These could include promoting self-employment and access to other forms of capital (land, loans, for example);
  • introducing active policies to ensure a closer link between training and employment.

These policies could integrate job-seeking aid and direct assistance for job creation.

Priority 3: higher education

Support for higher education is particularly necessary in order to ensure successful teacher training and general institutional development. In this respect, four specific actions are identified:

  • developing information and communication technologies (Internet, telephone, etc.);
  • encouraging cooperation between European and third-country institutions, especially at regional level;
  • ensuring greater vigilance in regard to the impact on these countries of a brain drain to developed countries;
  • enhancing the institutional capacities of developing countries.


Implementation of the above actions requires substantial investment on the part of the developing countries and the European Union. European Community funding in the field of education and training will come via two main instruments: macroeconomic and budgetary support and the implementation of a sectoral approach. It is important to ensure effective cooperation and coordination among all donors. The Commission also considers that ownership of the activities and strategies in this field by the people of the developing country, and in particular the poorest and most vulnerable groups, is vital.

The Commission sets out strategic options for the implementation of the actions, in particular:

  • political and strategic dialogue with the countries and integration of the policies in this field into the development strategies drawn up for each country and the poverty reduction strategies;
  • a sectoral approach to provide a framework for the activities in this field;
  • macroeconomic and budgetary support;
  • consideration of the needs of the poor and their participation;
  • participation by education actors and civil society in the broad sense, including the private sector;
  • support for institutional development and capacity-building;
  • monitoring of activities via indicators.

In the Annexe, the Commission sets out a common framework for cooperation on higher education, a code of conduct for funding agencies and some monitoring indicators.


This is borne out by a series of initiatives undertaken at international level. The Dakar Forum (‘ Education for All ‘) in April 2000 reaffirmed and broadened the international community’s commitment in this field and the Millennium development objectives highlighted the importance of education, particularly education for girls and basic education.

As far as the European Union is concerned, the November 2000 statement on development policy identified the promotion of access to social services such as education as a priority field.

Related Acts

Communication from the Commission of 7 October 2005 to the Council, the European Parliament and the Economic and Social Committee – Speeding up progress towards the Millennium Development Goals – The European Union’s contribution [COM(2005) 132 final/2 – Not published in the Official Journal]

Commission Staff working document – EU Report on Millennium Development Goals 2000-2004 – EU contribution to the review of the MDGs at the UN 2005 High Level Event [SEC(2005) 456 – Not published in the Official Journal]

Council Resolution 8958/02 of 30 May 2002 on education and poverty

Declaration from the Council and the Commission of 20 November 2000 concerning the development policy of the European Community, on the basis of the Commission’s Communication of 26 April 2000 to the Council and the European Parliament on the same subject.