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Parliamentary questions
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22 January 2016
E-014471/2015(ASW)
Answer given by Mr Navracsics on behalf of the Commission
Question reference: E-014471/2015

The Member States are responsible for the organisation of their education systems, including provisions for persons with special educational needs. The Commission promotes the goal of ensuring that people with special needs receive effective individualized support, within the general education system, in environments that maximise academic and social development.

In 2008, the Commission's Communication Improving competences for the 21st century: an Agenda for European Cooperation on Schools(1) encouraged Member States to strengthen inclusive education and to provide timely and flexible learning support and personalised learning to those with learning difficulties. This commitment is also part of the Education and Training 2020 (ET2020) strategic framework for European cooperation in its recent 2015 Joint Report(2) between the Council and the Commission setting new priorities for education and training up to 2020.

Through the Erasmus+ programme, the Commission supports financially various organisations active in the field of special needs education. Erasmus+ provides specific financial support to the European Agency for Special Needs and Inclusive Education (Easnie)(3), an independent self-governing European body established by ministries of education acting as a platform for transnational cooperation and seeking to help member countries improve their educational policy and practice for inclusive education and special needs. All EU Member States except Romania and Bulgaria are members as well as Switzerland, Iceland and Norway. The agency collects data and, provides evidence based information and recommendations about inclusive education in Europe, as well as tools to monitor progress and organises EU-level events.

(1)http://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/?uri=celex:52008DC0425
(2)http://ec.europa.eu/epale/en/content/education-and-training-joint-report-adopted
(3)http://www.european-agency.org/

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