The Role of Local and Regional Authorities in Achieving a European Education Area by 2025

Contracting Party: The European Committee of the Regions (CoR) (under the Framework Contract No. CDR/TL2/59/2017/1)
Period: 2021


This study, co-authored by Progress Consulting S.r.l., identifies, analyses and categorises educational and training (ET) initiatives implemented by local and regional authorities (LRAs) across the European Union. LRAs’ responsibility in education and training varies importantly among Member States and the evidence gathered through this study tells a story of active contribution of the subnational level to the achievement of a European Education Area (EEA). In particular, this is evident looking at initiatives on the territories rather than analysing statistics at regional level. An inventory of 36 initiatives in education and training from 20 EU countries led by LRAs, or their agencies, at the local (LAU, NUTS3) and regional (NUTS2, NUTS1) level demonstrates how active the contribution of the subnational level to national policies, and hence to EU goals, is (Part 1). LRAs are not merely operationalising the policies of higher administrative levels, but strategically frame their interventions, contribute consciously to national objectives, and embed their action in the territory. This evidence is reinforced by the deep analysis of five of these initiatives developed as case studies, in which the type of intervention, the impact, the changes driven by the COVID-19 crisis, and the contribution modalities of local/regional action to EEA milestones are detailed (Part 3). Initiatives and case studies suggest that six main approaches are adopted by LRAs to pursue ET goals (Part 2). Policy recommendations to Member States and to European Commission aim at suggesting next steps to effectively support the achievement of the EEA by local and regional authorities (Part 4).