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EU Education Policy Development Dynamics and Tools of the Open Method of Coordination

Marina Larionova

The paper focuses on the European education policy developments from the Rome Treaty provisions and the historical Council Decision of 2 April 1963 laying down General Principles for implementing a Common Vocational Training Policy to the present "Education and Training 2010" programme. The study emphasis on the governance and actors involved in the processes defines choice of multi-level governance paradigm as the theoretical framework.The research evidence base testifies to a close link of education policy and economic and political integration processes dynamics and its congruency with the four phases of economic integration and social policy development interdependence.Though the Open Method of Coordination was established by the Lisbon European Council, the diverse tools of coordination emerging and maturing as the EU education policy was unfolding include almost a full specter of the OMC features in the dense and increasingly sophisticated legal and instrumental framework of the education cooperation whereas the soft and hard law tools are equally important. The study explores the tools and factors of success for OMC in Education and suggests that Education should be relegated to the group of policy areas where OMC is used as the main working method.The analysis provides ground for a positivist assertion that as the EU education policy agenda will continue to deepen and expand remaining under the subsidiarity principle. The OMC tools in the area of Education policy have a high capacity for strengthening both the horizontal and hierarchical interaction and shaping convergence of decisions and actions within the next decade.

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